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Minister for Education and Skills underlines Irish Presidency priority of strengthening Economic and Monetary Union for key EU policy makers

27.02.2013, 19:00 GMT

Minister for Education and Skills, Ruairí Quinn TD, is this evening (Wednesday 27th February) addressing top EU policy makers in Brussels on the Irish Presidency priorities of stability, jobs and growth and the theme of “The Three Unions: From banking to economic to political?”

The Minister is the keynote speaker at one of the most important Brussels think tank events: the annual conference of the Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS). He is opening the conference with a dinner of some 200 key Brussels figures.

The Minister highlighted the progress that has been made to strengthen Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) and emphasised that it was critical that member states act and implement what has already been agreed.

Describing the decision of EU leaders to break the link between sovereign and bank debt as critical and historic, Minister Quinn said, “From an Irish Presidency perspective, it is a top priority for us to work to make the swiftest possible progress on the various strands of banking union, especially the Single Supervisory Mechanism.  We aim to deliver on the banking agenda as set out by leaders last December.” 

The former Irish Finance Minister reiterated the Presidency’s support of President Herman van Rompuy’s work on strengthening EMU.  But, he also underlined the need to ensure that future possible agreements do not distract from the critical work of implementing what has already been agreed among member states.

Minister Quinn - "There is a serious issue of credibility here.  Our people and the financial markets must see that we act on what we agree, that we do what we say.  Our mantra remains – implement, implement, implement.  We can and must do as much as possible using the tools available to us now."

He also signalled that he did not believe changes to EU Treaties would be an issue in the short term. 

Read the Minister’s speech 'The Three Unions: From Banking to Economic to Political?'




Background note

The CEPS Conference continues on 28 February with sessions on

  • More Accountability and Legitimacy: On the road to a political union?
  • Banking Union: Stepping stone or catalyst?
  • EU Budget vs Eurozone budget: Towards an economic union?

More information about CEPS can be found here:

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picture of Deirdre Grant, Director of Communications,

Deirdre Grant, Director of Communications, (Education)




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