Irish Prime Minister supports Ukraine’s accession to the European Union
Micheál Martin spoke on Wednesday morning to the plenary session of the European Parliament in Strasbourg. Important issues were discussed, including Ukraine and the Northern Ireland protocol, as part of the “This is Europe” focus debates.
(Elsa Woeffler) – “Being a member of the European Union changes everything”, said Irish Prime Minister Micheál Martin to a handful of MEPs present in the Strasbourg hemicycle. Strong words, referring to his country’s own experience some 50 years ago, when Ireland joined the European Union. An experience which the Prime Minister used to explain his support for Ukraine’s membership application. Indeed, membership of the European Union has been a source of pride for the Irish people and an opportunity to grow in the space of a few years.
With this speech, the Prime Minister underlined the importance of a Ukrainian membership of the European Union, as a tool for promoting democracy, peace and security in Europe. “We will remain a beacon of hope for this people, by being united, we will be a better union, which acts more and better”, added Micheál Martin. He is counting on the Commission’s position, which will be delivered by the end of June, concerning the urgent applications for membership submitted by Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia.
The morning also saw MEPs and the President of the Parliament reaffirm their full support for Ireland on the Northern Ireland Protocol. “Renegotiation of the Protocol is not an option. The European Parliament has reiterated its full support for the Protocol on numerous occasions and we remain fully committed to the maintenance of peace on the island of Ireland”, said Roberta Metsola, President of the European Parliament.
Indeed, recently, the United Kingdom has indicated that it wants to legislate again to revise the Northern Ireland Protocol, which was negotiated a few months ago in the context of Brexit. A protocol that had been a major issue throughout the UK’s disunification from the European Union, is now back on the table, deemed unacceptable to Europeans.
The MEPs therefore also affirmed their support for the Irish Prime Minister. “The group defends the interests of Ireland because the interests of Ireland are the interests of Europe”, said MEP Séjourné from the Renew group. The positions of the European Parliament and its members are therefore clear and underline that negotiation in good faith is the last way to obtain a result that suits all.
Micheál Martin is the third guest in the “This is Europe” series. A series of debates in which MEPs invite members of the European governments to speak on various topics. The aim? To debate a common agenda on the future of Europe. Kaja Kallas, Prime Minister of Estonia, was the first guest, followed by Mario Draghi, Prime Minister of Italy, last May.