Nachgefragt bei… Noelle O’Connell
Mit dem Format „Nachgefragt bei“ kommen regelmäßig europapolitische Stimmen in Form eines Kurzinterviews zu Wort. Heute heißt es anlässlich des irischen Vorsitzes im Ministerkomitee des Europarats: Nachgefragt bei… Noelle O’Connell, Geschäftsführerin der European Movement Ireland und Vizepräsidentin des Vorstands von European Movement International. Das Interview haben wir auf Englisch geführt.
Ms. O’Connell, why is the Council of Europe important for Europe?
„As one of the ten founding members of the Council or Europe, Ireland has always believed in its potential to protect human rights and provide a forum for dialogue and cooperation. The Council remains a key pillar of European unity. Its achievements, including many legally binding conventions, have advanced positive progress across diverse areas including human rights, cooperation on organised crime, violence against women and cultural and political cooperation. The track record of the Council points to its future potential.“
What are your expectations for the Irish Chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers in the Council of Europe and which priorities should the Irish government set?
„Ireland has a strong track record of multilateral leadership, currently demonstrated by its seat on the United Nations Security Council. The Chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers of the Council is a priority area for the Government and the priorities reflect the strengths of Irish foreign policy. These include reinforcing human rights and the protection of civilians in Europe, particularly within areas of active conflict. The rights and freedoms of minorities will also be prioritised. The Irish Chairmanship will also focus on participatory democracy and youth engagement, building on our successful domestic experience of citizen consultation, where European Movement Ireland has played a leading role.“
How do you assess the current developments on the Northern Ireland Protocol in the post-Brexit talks?
„The most important priority is to continue meaningful engagement. From European Movement Ireland’s perspective, we strongly support the efforts of Vice President Maroš Šefčovič and the EU institutions to provide flexibility within the parameters of the Protocol. Discussions must continue to resolve existing issues and to ensure that people and businesses in Northern Ireland can take full advantage of their unique position in accessing both the British and EU markets. We are gravely concerned by the British government’s intention to introduce legislation to disapply parts of the Protocol as announced last week. A mutually beneficial relationship between the EU and UK is undoubtedly in the best interests of both sides and a goal worth striving for.“