23. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Taoiseach if he will report on the discussions and the contributions on digital tax made by him and other EU leaders at the March 2018 EU Council meeting. (Question 14155/18 asked on 28 Mar 2018 - European Council Meetings)

An Ceann Comhairle: We now move to questions Nos. 17 to 26.
 ...

24. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Taoiseach if he had bilateral meetings at the March 2018 EU Council meeting. (Question 14159/18 asked on 28 Mar 2018 - European Council Meetings)

An Ceann Comhairle: We now move to questions Nos. 17 to 26.
 ...

70. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if he contributed at the January 2018 EU Council meeting; and the meetings he attended before or after the EU Council meeting. (Question 3444/18 asked on 24 Jan 2018 - European Council Meetings)

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Simon Coveney): I attended the EU Foreign Affairs Council meeting on Monday 22 January. At this meeting EU Foreign Ministers discussed the post-Cotonou framework for relations between the EU and the African, Caribbean and Pacific countries from 2020; developments in Libya; and the Middle East Peace Process. Ministers also held an informal lunch meeting with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. I participated actively in these discussi...

133. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if he has spoken at EU Council meetings recently regarding the need for EU reform; and his priorities on same. (Question 1471/18 asked on 16 Jan 2018 - European Council Meetings)

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Simon Coveney): The debate on the future of Europe and what direction our Union should take has been gaining pace in recent months. The European Commission published a White Paper in March 2017 on the issue and followed it up with a series of Reflection Papers on EU finances, harnessing globalisation, defence, the social dimension and completion of economic and monetary union.
In the meantime, the President of the European Council, Don...

100. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if the ongoing war in Syria will be discussed at the December 2017 European Council. (Question 52911/17 asked on 12 Dec 2017 - European Council Meetings)

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Simon Coveney): I propose to take Questions Nos. 100 and 106 together.
The situation in Syria continues to be one of utmost concern. The conflict, which is now in its seventh year, has cost an estimated half a million lives. Over 13 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance inside Syria, including close to 3 million people trapped in besieged and hard-to-reach areas. Over 5.5 million have fled to neighbouring countries and...

119. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Taoiseach the agenda of the December 2017 European Council meeting. (Question 51714/17 asked on 05 Dec 2017 - European Council Meetings)

The Taoiseach: The European Council will meet in Brussels on 14 and 15 December. 
The draft agenda for the main meeting consists of security and defence - including Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) - and social, educational and cultural matters - where we expect a report on the recent Gothenburg Social Summit, and the proclamation of the European Pillar of Social Rights. Foreign policy issues might also be raised.
 President Tusk will also chair further discussions on the Future of E...

246. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence if he will report on the discussions at the EU Council meeting on PESCO. (Question 49076/17 asked on 22 Nov 2017 - European Council Meetings)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): I presume that the Deputy is referring to the FAC Defence Council which took place in Brussels on 13 November last, where Foreign Affairs and Defence Ministers discussed over a working lunch, developments in the security and defence area, including PESCO.
As the Deputy is aware, PESCO is a mechanism provided for in the Treaty of the European Union to enable countries to come together and, on a project by project basis, jointly d...

90. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Taoiseach if he will report on the discussions at the October EU Council on the ongoing situation in Madrid following the referendum in Catalonia; if triggering Article 155 was discussed. (Question 45684/17 asked on 07 Nov 2017 - European Council Meetings)

The Taoiseach: I propose to take Questions Nos. 90 to 93, inclusive, 128 and 129 together.
I attended the European Council in Brussels on Thursday 19 and Friday 20 October. The agenda included Migration; Digital Europe; Security and Defence; and External Relations. The Future of Europe was discussed over breakfast on Friday. There was then a European Council Article 50 - without the UK - which discussed progress in the Brexit negotiations.
Iran was discussed as part of the the external relati...

91. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Taoiseach if he met with or spoke to the Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel in or around the October 2017 EU Council meeting. (Question 45685/17 asked on 07 Nov 2017 - European Council Meetings)

The Taoiseach: I propose to take Questions Nos. 90 to 93, inclusive, 128 and 129 together.
I attended the European Council in Brussels on Thursday 19 and Friday 20 October. The agenda included Migration; Digital Europe; Security and Defence; and External Relations. The Future of Europe was discussed over breakfast on Friday. There was then a European Council Article 50 - without the UK - which discussed progress in the Brexit negotiations.
Iran was discussed as part of the the external relati...

92. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Taoiseach if he spoke with or met French President Emmanuel Macron at the October 2017 EU Council meeting; and the issues that were discussed. (Question 45686/17 asked on 07 Nov 2017 - European Council Meetings)

The Taoiseach: I propose to take Questions Nos. 90 to 93, inclusive, 128 and 129 together.
I attended the European Council in Brussels on Thursday 19 and Friday 20 October. The agenda included Migration; Digital Europe; Security and Defence; and External Relations. The Future of Europe was discussed over breakfast on Friday. There was then a European Council Article 50 - without the UK - which discussed progress in the Brexit negotiations.
Iran was discussed as part of the the external relati...

93. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Taoiseach if he met with Prime Minister May at the October 2017 EU Council meeting; and the issues they discussed, in particular, if Northern Ireland was discussed. (Question 45688/17 asked on 07 Nov 2017 - European Council Meetings)

The Taoiseach: I propose to take Questions Nos. 90 to 93, inclusive, 128 and 129 together.
I attended the European Council in Brussels on Thursday 19 and Friday 20 October. The agenda included Migration; Digital Europe; Security and Defence; and External Relations. The Future of Europe was discussed over breakfast on Friday. There was then a European Council Article 50 - without the UK - which discussed progress in the Brexit negotiations.
Iran was discussed as part of the the external relati...

128. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Taoiseach if he met Chancellor Merkel when he attended the October 2017 EU Council meeting. (Question 46508/17 asked on 07 Nov 2017 - European Council Meetings)

The Taoiseach: I propose to take Questions Nos. 90 to 93, inclusive, 128 and 129 together.
I attended the European Council in Brussels on Thursday 19 and Friday 20 October. The agenda included Migration; Digital Europe; Security and Defence; and External Relations. The Future of Europe was discussed over breakfast on Friday. There was then a European Council Article 50 - without the UK - which discussed progress in the Brexit negotiations.
Iran was discussed as part of the the external relati...

129. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Taoiseach if he will report on the discussion at the October 2017 EU Council meeting regarding the international nuclear agreement and Iran. (Question 46509/17 asked on 07 Nov 2017 - European Council Meetings)

The Taoiseach: I propose to take Questions Nos. 90 to 93, inclusive, 128 and 129 together.
I attended the European Council in Brussels on Thursday 19 and Friday 20 October. The agenda included Migration; Digital Europe; Security and Defence; and External Relations. The Future of Europe was discussed over breakfast on Friday. There was then a European Council Article 50 - without the UK - which discussed progress in the Brexit negotiations.
Iran was discussed as part of the the external relati...

95. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Taoiseach if he had bilateral meetings at the European Council meeting in October 2017. (Question 44683/17 asked on 25 Oct 2017 - European Council Meetings)

The Taoiseach: Meetings of the European Council always provide useful opportunities to meet and interact with the Heads of State or Government of the other 27 EU Member States. I attended the October European Council in Brussels last week and, over the course of the two days, had the opportunity to engage with several of my EU counterparts.I was also invited, along with the Dutch Prime Minister, to join the leaders of the Nordic and Baltic countries - Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Estonia, Latvia an...

97. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Taoiseach if EU reform was discussed at the October 2017 European Council meeting. (Question 45043/17 asked on 25 Oct 2017 - European Council Meetings)

The Taoiseach: Although ‘EU reform’ was not an agenda item at the recent meeting of the European Council in Brussels, the Future of Europe was discussed over breakfast on Friday 20 October.
This issue is part of an ongoing process, and has been discussed at a series of Informal Summits in Bratislava, Valletta, Rome and Tallinn. President Juncker and President Macron have also recently made useful contributions to the debate. 
At the meeting last Friday, it was agreed that the unity of the EU is ...

99. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation if there was a discussion at the October 2017 European Council opening with regard to increasing EU market presence in China and other Asian countries. (Question 45045/17 asked on 25 Oct 2017 - European Council Meetings)

Tánaiste and Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): Given the many items tabled for discussion at the October EU Council meeting, there was only a brief discussion on Trade.  In that regard, I can confirm that as per the Taoiseach’s recent statement on the European Council in the Dáil this week, increasing EU market presence in China and other Asian countries was not discussed at the EU Council. 
China, however, remains an important market and is regarded a...

148. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Minister for Finance if he will report on the most recent meeting of ECOFIN; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 37808/17 asked on 11 Sep 2017 - European Council Meetings)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): The last ECOFIN Council, that I attended, took place on 11 July 20217 in Brussels.  It was the first Council of the Estonian Presidency.  The main items discussed are as follows. 
Legislative deliberations 
Ministers were debriefed on the state of play on the current legislative proposals in the field of financial services. 
The Commission presented a proposal regarding mandatory automatic exchange of information in the field of taxation.  This prop...

6. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Taoiseach the issues that were discussed and, in particular, if he requested the need for special status for Northern Ireland in the context of the Brexit negotiations in his meeting with President Tusk; and if he invited him to address the Houses of the Oireachtas on Brexit. (Question 29801/17 asked on 28 Jun 2017 - European Council Meetings)

The Taoiseach: I propose to take Questions Nos. 6 to 15, inclusive, together.
I travelled to Brussels on 22 and 23 June to attend a meeting of the European Council. As I reported to the House last week, the agenda dealt with security and defence; external relations; the Paris Agreement on climate change; jobs, growth and competitiveness; digital Europe; and migration. There was also a presentation by Prime Minister May following the launch of negotiations between the UK and EU last week, follo...

7. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Taoiseach the bilaterals he had at the European Council meeting. (Question 29806/17 asked on 28 Jun 2017 - European Council Meetings)

The Taoiseach: I propose to take Questions Nos. 6 to 15, inclusive, together.
I travelled to Brussels on 22 and 23 June to attend a meeting of the European Council. As I reported to the House last week, the agenda dealt with security and defence; external relations; the Paris Agreement on climate change; jobs, growth and competitiveness; digital Europe; and migration. There was also a presentation by Prime Minister May following the launch of negotiations between the UK and EU last week, follo...

15. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Taoiseach if he will report on bilateral meetings held at the European Council meeting in June 2017; and the issues that were discussed. (Question 30192/17 asked on 28 Jun 2017 - European Council Meetings)

The Taoiseach: I propose to take Questions Nos. 6 to 15, inclusive, together.
I travelled to Brussels on 22 and 23 June to attend a meeting of the European Council. As I reported to the House last week, the agenda dealt with security and defence; external relations; the Paris Agreement on climate change; jobs, growth and competitiveness; digital Europe; and migration. There was also a presentation by Prime Minister May following the launch of negotiations between the UK and EU last week, follo...

27. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Taoiseach the issues he will want to discuss at the next EU Council meeting. (Question 27836/17 asked on 27 Jun 2017 - European Council Meetings)

The Taoiseach: The European Council took place on 22 and 23 June. The agenda dealt with: security and defence; external relations; the Paris Agreement on Climate Change; jobs, growth and competitiveness; Digital Europe; and migration. 
I spoke with most of the other leaders over the course of the two days. In my conversations, I reiterated my strong commitment to keeping Ireland at the heart of the Union, and I highlighted the unique difficulties the departure of the UK presents for Ireland. ...

29. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Taoiseach the main issues he will be hoping to address at his next EU Council meeting in June 2017. (Question 29054/17 asked on 27 Jun 2017 - European Council Meetings)

The Taoiseach: The European Council took place on 22 and 23 June. The agenda dealt with: security and defence; external relations; the Paris Agreement on Climate Change; jobs, growth and competitiveness; Digital Europe; and migration. 
I spoke with most of the other leaders over the course of the two days. In my conversations, I reiterated my strong commitment to keeping Ireland at the heart of the Union, and I highlighted the unique difficulties the departure of the UK presents for Ireland. ...

17. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Taoiseach if he will report on the EU Council meeting on 29 April 2017; and the details of the contributions he made at the meeting. (Question 20404/17 asked on 10 May 2017 - European Council Meetings)

The Taoiseach: I propose to take Questions Nos. 17 to 20, inclusive, together.
As I outlined last week in my statement to the House, I attended the meeting of the European Council on 29 April. This was the first meeting since Prime Minister May formally notified the European Union of the UK’s intention to leave, thereby triggering Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union; and it was therefore a meeting of the 27 remaining Member States.
We adopted the EU negotiating guidelines, and had a broa...

2. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Taoiseach if he has spoken or written to the Italian Prime Minister since the referendum result in Italy on 4 December 2016. (Question 39412/16 asked on 14 Dec 2016 - European Council Meetings)

The Taoiseach: I propose to take Questions Nos. 1 to 4, inclusive, together.
As I will be outlining in my statement to the House later this afternoon, the next meeting of the European Council will take place tomorrow when EU leaders will discuss migration, security, economic and social development, including youth, and external relations.
The discussions on migration will include an update on the EU-Turkey deal, signed in March, along with a consideration of the migration compacts with five Afri...

4. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Taoiseach the position regarding the contributions made by Prime Minister May at the October European Council meeting; if he had a bilateral with Prime Minister May; and the issues that were discussed (Question 31634/16 asked on 25 Oct 2016 - European Council Meetings)

The Taoiseach: I propose to take Questions Nos. 4 to 11, inclusive, together.
The meeting of the European Council which took place in Brussels on 20 and 21 October addressed a wide range of issues. The formal agenda included migration; external relations, specifically Russia and Syria; trade, including the EU-Canada Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement, CETA, TTIP, the EU-Japan free trade agreement, and trade defence instruments; and a range of other global and economic issues.
Although the U...