The President of the European Commission, Mr José Manuel Barroso and the College of Commissioners visited Dublin today for meetings with Taoiseach Enda Kenny, Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore and members of the Government to discuss working together with the Irish Presidency on its key priorities of stability, jobs and growth for Europe.

Opening a plenary meeting between the Commission and the Government, the Taoiseach and Tánaiste outlined how Ireland plans to tackle issues of concern to all Europeans including youth unemployment, promoting stability through the Banking Union, and driving future growth through the Single Market. The Irish Presidency also reiterated its commitment to work in close cooperation with the European Commission and other institutions, including the European Parliament, to address the major issues currently facing the European Union.

Speaking at a press conference with the Taoiseach and Tánaiste, Commission President Barroso welcomed the Irish Presidency programme and stressed the support of the Commission in working with the Presidency to restore the EU to stability and growth.

The Taoiseach said “We found an enormous amount of common ground in terms of our agenda for stability, jobs and growth in Europe, while President Barroso and his team are very conscious of Ireland’s own recovery story in the context of Europe’s recovery agenda. We look forward to our partnership with them and with the other EU institutions in the coming six months.

The Tánaiste said “Today’s meeting helped to build on 18 months of Presidency preparations in close contact with the Commission. Among the extensive agenda of issues we’ll work together on is the crucial, urgent issue of youth unemployment – we spoke about it at length today. We look forward to carrying forward the Commission’s Youth Employment Package, while I also welcome their intention to publish shortly a Social Investment Package.”