Stephen asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade:

if he or representatives of Ireland have met or communicated with the candidate for the French presidency Francois Hollande or his representatives; if so, if his stance of the fiscal compact treaty and on the ESM was discussed; if so, what the outcome of those discussions were.

Ref No:   22014/12     Proof:   207

REPLY

As Minister for Foreign Affairs, I have been very closely following debates all across Europe on the Stability Treaty, and in particular have been monitoring active debate in the context of elections in France.

Ireland’s network of diplomatic missions plays a key role in keeping the Government updated on the developments in their countries of accreditation. Officials from our Embassy in Paris, in the usual course of political and economic networking, have of course met with representatives of various candidates in the French Presidential election. In this context, a wide range of issues have been discussed, including current economic and financial issues.  I am fully abreast of these.

The Government has long argued its strong view that recovery in Europe will only be achieved by the adoption of a balanced approach. The Stability Treaty will make a contribution to the restoration of stability and confidence in the euro, but Europe also needs to prioritise and to take actions to generate growth and to promote job creation.  This remains a top-level priority for this Government.

The Government has made it very clear that it will consider with great interest any new proposals to this end – from whatever quarter – and, where they make sense, will lend them support.