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Democracy Under Attack: MacGill School 2018

The 2018 MacGill Summer School focused on “The Future of Ireland in a New Europe: The challenge Ahead”. As is the practice, the published programme set down the background to the session and said that little was being heard in day to day discourse of the Union’s record on human rights and its defence of freedoms and and this was happening at a time when democracy itself was under attack.The programme went on to say that Europe was threatened within and without by extremist ideologies, aggressive regimes, discrimination and the rejection of democratic values. It consequently argued that the need for a strong Europe had never been greater. This paper opened the session on European values and took as its theme the organisers’ belief that democracy was under attack and clearly in peril.

 

To read the full text, click here or download a PDF here.

 

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McGill Summer School paper 2017

AT THE CENTRE OF THE UNION: Ireland can and must play a full part

MacGill Summer School 2017 paper by Brendan Halligan

 

In his recent address to the MacGill Summer School, Brendan Halligan looked at Ireland’s current situation in Europe in the light of BREXIT and discusses how, “there is one eminently pragmatic reason to be at the centre, and it’s economic. The disruption from Brexit will be widespread and long lasting and far greater here than in any other EU state.” But remaining at the centre of the EU will not only protect Ireland, but present it with a whole new gamut of possibilities

To read/download a PDF of this document, click here or scroll down.


 

Introduction

A Union without Britain will be a challenge in its own right. Ireland playing a full part at the centre of that Union only magnifies what is already a huge challenge, the biggest since 1939 in the words of Ruairi Quinn.

In considering how we respond, I want to start with what the Union is and what is meant by the centre, in which we‘re being asked to play a full part.

Franco/German Project

The Union is a Franco/German project. They are building a European home together. 

Other countries may join in, but must obey the rules. Joining is voluntary. You don’t have to join. Membership is voluntary too. You don’t have to stay. You can leave if you want to. And if you misbehave, you can be asked to go.

The European Union was famously described as ‘Journey to an Unknown Destination‚‘ by Andrew Shonfield in his Reith Lectures given in 1972. It has a history of progressively enlarging its membership, extending its activities and deepening the interdependence of its members. Progress goes forward in spurts, sometimes at speed. I suspect we are at such a moment. (more…)

Brexit Insight Issue 9: A Perfect Storm?

This article by Brendan Halligan appeared as analysis number 9
in the “Brexit Insight” series on the IIEA website.

Brexit Insight No 9 by Brendan Halligan

Previous issues of the Brexit Insight have identified the danger of a breakdown in the Brexit negotiations even before the talks begin. Far from disappearing, the danger has been increased by a combination of developments in the EU and separately in the UK. We may be facing into a perfect storm as the following analysis explains.

Introduction

Things have definitely taken a turn for the worst. The chances of a breakdown in the Brexit talks have increased from 30% to over 50%. And this is before the talks have even begun. They are now expected to start by mid June after the new British government has been put in place. Monday the 19th has been pencilled in.

Three developments have shortened the odds on a breakdown; adoption of the EU negotiating mandate, the publication of the Conservative Party election manifesto and the elaboration of the UK’s negotiating position.

EU Negotiating Mandate

Taking them in turn, the EU negotiating mandate now has the force of law having been adopted by the General Affairs Council on Monday, 22 May. A draft had been in circulation for weeks and had worked its way through the Union’s decision-making process but the key point remains the same: the EU has instructed its negotiator, Michel Barnier, to follow a prescribed agenda in which the UK’s Brexit Bill is to be settled before negotiations can open on the new trade deal with the UK. (more…)

Tribute to Brendan Halligan on 80th Birthday

At the Annual General Meeting  of IIEA Brussels, 12th July 2016, Commissioner Phil Hogan gave a speech to mark 80th Birthday of Brendan Halligan, Founder and Chairman of the Institute for International and European Affairs.
See transcript below, with photo from the birthday celebration at IIEA, Dublin 6th July, 2016:

Brendan-Halligan-Birthday-Blog-top

Ladies and gentlemen,

I’m very glad to be here with you this evening.  This has been a turbulent and interesting few weeks for everyone with an interest in Irish or European affairs. It has been especially interesting for those of us with a strong interest in both! Tonight we are honouring Brendan Halligan and his immense contribution to Irish and European public life.

07-Brendan-with-medalBrendan Halligan is a giant of modern Ireland. Founder and Chairman of the Institute of International and European Affairs, Ireland’s number 1 think tank. One of Ireland’s foremost public intellectuals. A former MEP, Senator, TD and General Secretary of the Labour Party. An economist. An expert on ancient Irish language and culture. An advocate for the transition to a green energy future. An environmentalist. A keen student of the rise of China. A Chevalier of the Legion d’Honneur – the highest civilian honour in France. A great raconteur, a lover of Sancerre and most importantly of all – a Southsider and a great supporter of the Dubs!

In some ways, the timing of this event is very appropriate. The chaos arising from the UK referendum has really brought home how important it is that we talk about Europe and we understand the European project, for we are all, as Brendan realised before many, Europeans. (more…)

Brendan Halligan conferred with France’s Highest Honour: l’Ordre National de la Légion d’Honneur

Brendan Halligan conferred France's highest honour

Brendan Halligan, Chevalier de l’Ordre National de la Légion d’Honneur

On Tuesday, 19 April 2016, Brendan Halligan was conferred with France’s highest civilian Honour: l’Ordre National de la Légion d’Honneur.  To see the full gallery of photos of the event, click here.

Economist, politician and academic, Brendan Halligan has extensive experience as an activist in the European arena. He is the founder and current Chairman of the Institute of International and European Affairs (IIEA) a leading European think tank on European and International issues. He was appointed as a Member of the European Parliament (MEP) from 1983 until 1984, where he specialised in economic affairs and energy policy.

In a letter confirming the award, French Secretary of State for European Affairs Harlem Désir noted that the President of the French Republic had granted the distinction of Chevalier to honour “the remarkable merit” of Mr Halligan’s personal and professional achievements. It continued that the award is also in recognition of “50 years of exemplary contribution to the European debate in Ireland,” noting Mr Haligan’s invaluable, lifelong and multi-faceted devotion to the European ideal on political, intellectual and activist levels.

(more…)

Powershift Energy Summit, 18 September 2015

01-Group-shot1-webOn 18 September, the IIEA and the ESB hosted a major international summit entitled “Powershift: Why Everything You Thought you Knew About Energy is Wrong”, which examined the future of the energy industry and the changes that will shape it. Click here to see the photo gallery of this event.

The summit brought together leaders, industry innovators and policy makers from around the planet, from Maroš Šefčovič, Vice President for Energy Union, European Commission, to Matthew Warren, Chief Executive of the Energy Supply Association of Australia (ESSA).

The conference was introduced by Brendan Halligan, Chairman, IIEA, and Pat O’Doherty, CEO of ESB. Brendan Halligan also chaired one of the conference’s panel discussions, “Visions for the Future of Energy – Disrupt, Innovate, Connect!”

Taking place at the Conference Centre in Dublin’s historic Mansion House, subjects focused on transformative changes currently taking place in the energy sector due to the convergence of energy and digital technologies.

Electric-powered transport and storage, the connected home, how to attract investors to this new energy sector and how to deal with everyday customers who will need to adapt to the new systems were all discussed.   Click here to see a gallery of participants at the conference and for full coverage, visit: www.IIEA.com

 

Ban Ki-moon visits Dublin Castle

Ban Ki-moon visits Dublin CastleOn 25 May, 2015, Ban Ki-moon visited Dublin Castle for the launch of a programme that highlights Ireland’s contribution and commitment to the United Nations over the last 60 years.  At the launch, co-hosted by the Institute of International and European Affairs and Ireland’s Department for Foreign Affairs and Trade, UN Secretary-General  Ban Ki-moon delivered a lecture in St Patrick’s Hall entitled:  The UN at 70:  Looking back, Looking Forward.

At the event, attendees included former Taoiseach, Liam Cosgrave, who was Minister for External Affairs in 1955 when Ireland joined the United Nations;  UN Special Envoy for Climate Change and former Irish President Mary Robinson; Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade,  Charlie Flanagan, TD, IIEA Chairman Brendan Halligan, Director General of the IIEA Tom Arnold and Jill Donoghue, Head of Research, IIEA, Peter Sutherland, United Nations Special Representative to the Secretary-General on International Migration and Richard Ryan, former Irish Ambassador to the UN in New York.

For full photographic coverage of this event, click here

 

Photos from the Jean-Claude Trichet Visit

Jean Claude-Trichet visit Royal Hospital KilmainhamOn Thursday, 30 May, former ECB President Jean Claude-Trichet visited Dublin’s Royal Hospital, Kilmainham to deliver a paper entitled, “Governance of the Eurozone: Past, Present and Future” at an event hosted by the Institute for European and International Affairs at .

Attended by over a hundred invited guests, attendees included the members of the Committee of Inquiry into the Banking Crisis and the media. It was broadcast live on TV.

Chairman of the Institute, Brendan Halligan, presided and introduced President Trichet and two respondents to the address, Dr Michael Somers, Vice-Chairman, AIB, and Professor Gavin Barrett of the UCD School of Law.

Following the lecture and the responses, President Trichet answered questions from Institute members and, in separate sessions, from members of the Committee of Inquiry into the Banking Crisis, popularly known in Ireland as “The Banking Inquiry.”

The Oireachtas committee consisted of its Chairman, Ciarán Lynch TD (Labour), and Pearse Doherty TD (Sinn Féin); Senator Seán D. Barrett (Independent); Senator Susan O’Keefe (Labour); John Paul Phelan TD (Fine Gael); Senator Michael D’Arcy (Fine Gael); Eoghan Murphy TD (Fine Gael); Michael McGrath TD (Fianna Fáil); Joe Higgins TD (Socialist Party); Kieran O’Donnell TD (Fine Gael) and Senator Marc MacSharry (Fianna Fáil).

President Trichet gave interviews to the media before returning to Paris.

For a photo gallery of the event, click here or on the image.

“Britain and Europe – The Endgame” Introduction Speech by Brendan Halligan

At the recent launch for the new book, “Britain and Europe: the Endgame”, Brendan Halligan gave a speech to introduce his contribution at the Institute of International and European Affairs.  To view the video, click below.  

Britain’s fraught relationship with Europe is analysed in this study prepared by Ireland’s leading think tank, the Institute of International and European Affairs (IIEA).

The third in a series that stretches back over 20 years, the authors argue that the relationship has entered the endgame. If not managed with daring and imagination, it could result in Britain exiting from the European Union, perhaps unwittingly.

The consequences are examined under a number of headings, including: the political and economic future of the United Kingdom; its options for a new external relationship with Europe; the political impact on the European Union; the implications for Ireland, with particular reference to the economy; and on the totality of Irish-British relations, with special attention to the effect on Northern Ireland.

The threat of UK withdrawal requires a unique response. This study proposes a bespoke solution by creating a Union with four cores which would enable Britain to be simultaneously both inside and outside the Union. The proposal has the great merit of dealing with political realities and of preventing a potential disaster for all concerned.

The study closes with a series of recommendations for pre-emptive action by the EU as whole and by Ireland in particular.

The book is edited by Dáithí O’Ceallaigh and Paul Gillespie. It contains chapters by ten contributing authors: Tom Arnold, John Bradley, Tony Brown, Paul Gillespie, Brendan Halligan, Blair Horan, James Kilcourse, John McGrane, Edgar Morgenroth and Dáithí O’Ceallaigh.

It follows two previous books on this theme from the IIEA: ‘Blair’s Britain, England’s Europe – A View from Ireland’ (ed. Paul Gillespie, 2000) and ‘Britain’s European Question: The Issues for Ireland’ (ed. Paul Gillespie, 1996).

 The book can be downloaded here.

 

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Ireland must fight to keep Britain in the EU

Indo-IIEA-Brit-Book-WEB

In an Op Ed piece in the Irish Independent today, Brendan Halligan comments on how Ireland “must fight to keep Britain in the EU” in the country’s Interest.

The article co-incides with the launch today of a new book by the IIEA, Britain and Europe:  The Endgame – An Irish Perspective.

Ireland must fight to keep Britain in EU – our national interest demands it

“It was David Cameron himself who described what is happening to Britain’s relationship with Europe as “sleepwalking towards the exit”. That’s a pretty accurate description of developments since he became prime minister. Having started out as someone who was fed up with his party banging on about Europe, as he called it, he has finished up as the man who intends to put Britain’s EU membership on the line.

He recently explained why he took the decision to hold a referendum: it was untenable to keep dodging the question he said. The reason for that, as we know, is the rise of Ukip, which wants Britain out of the EU and which is eating into the Conservative Party’s support. Some two-thirds of the Conservative membership also want Britain to leave and it is this combination of forces which is pushing Britain towards the exit, with its eyes shut” … (more…)

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