08 Apr, 2020

EWA alumna Erin McGreehan suggests Dundalk for the EU’s new office

Alumna of the European Women’s Academy (EWA) Class of 2019 and member of the Renew Europe Group in the European Committee of the Regions (Renew Europe CoR), Councillor Erin McGreehan (Fianna Fail) wrote on 2 April to Josep Borrell, Vice-President of the European Commission and EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security, proposing Dundalk (Ireland) as the “ideal alternative location” for the European Union’s new office. This comes after the British government refused a request from the EU to open a new office in Northern Ireland.

Writing in her capacity as member of the European Committee of the Regions and of Louth County Council’s Economic Development and Enterprise Support Committee, Councillor McGreehan expressed her disappointment at the UK government’s refusal to locate an office in Belfast. She offered a local solution by suggesting her city of Dundalk – which is on the border with Northern Ireland, strategically located half-way on the road between Belfast and Dublin – for opening a new office.

In her letter, Councillor McGreehan writes:

“Article 12 of the Irish protocol states that EU officials shall have the right to be present during any checks and controls carried out by British authorities. Indeed, such a presence is vital for the good functioning of the protocol, and therefore to preserve the integrity of the EU Single Market.”

Putting forward a solution that she says could solve the issue, she informed Vice-President Borrell that Dundalk, a vibrant town hosting major international companies, providing easy access to the whole of Northern Ireland and less than an hour from Dublin airport, would be an ideal alternative location: 

“Dundalk has a major stake in ensuring that future relations between Ireland and the UK remain smooth and friendly. [Choosing Dundalk] would facilitate the work of EU officials tasked with observing the checks and controls. I believe that locating the office in Dundalk will cover the needs of the EU, while avoiding the sensitivities that exist in the UK over this matter.”

You can access the letter in full here.

For more information on the European Women’s Academy and how to get involved, visit here.

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