The ALDE Group in the CoR became the first delegation of the Committee of the Regions to visit Ireland to find out directly on the ground how Brexit will impact Ireland from a subnational level, teaming up with Fianna Fáil for this special occasion.
The extraordinary group meeting on Brexit of ALDE CoR aims to convey the findings on Brexit’s impact from the local and regional perspective to European Chief Negotiator for Brexit Michel Barnier just before the Brexit negotiations were due to start. To do this, Fianna Fáil teamed up with its political grouping in the European Committee of the Regions to bring to Dublin thirty representatives from cities and regions from across the Union as city mayors and regional politicians are in a position to achieve a number of objectives of interest to Ireland: to identify new opportunities for trade with the EU-27; to raise awareness of Ireland’s concerns with citizens and local media in their countries; to raise awareness with their political peers in other cities and regions in their country and to do so with their national governments through their privileged contacts.
Fianna Fáil is therefore ensuring that as national leaders take a step back from Brexit to give the lead to the European Commission’s negotiator Michel Barnier, the Irish message is given visibility at a different level throughout the Union. This was illustrated by a top level discussion between Michael Martin, leader of Fianna Fáil, and our President Bart Somers along with one of our Irish members, Kate Feeney, agreeing that it is key to raise awareness across EU regions and cities for the impact of Brexit.