Labour Blog

This year marks the 40th anniversary of Ireland's membership of the European Union

Posted on May 09, 2013 at 11:15 AM

Speaking ahead of Europe Day, the Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore spoke of Ireland’s 40 years membership of the European Union saying that despite recent setbacks ‘our experience has been hugely positive’.

“We have developed our economy, modernised our society and widened our horizons.  The experience has seen Ireland grow and mature, leaving behind the sense of isolation that undermined our early decades of statehood.  The economy is more diverse, more open to trade and exports and better equipped to overcome the difficulties we now face.”

The Tánaiste also spoke of how we have benefited from the solidarity of our EU partners and contributed to the solidarity to the Union.

“Ireland has truly engaged from the outset as a member state determined to see the Union succeed.  Since 1973 we have been active participants, not observers, in this process.  It is this perspective that has shaped our Presidency and will endure beyond it.”

You can watch the entire speech back from the accompanying video.

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