Freedom of movement set down by the EU creates the kind of Europe in which Ireland can flourish – Donohoe

24th January, 2014

‘We should not let difficulty lead to its dilution’

Speaking today (Thursday) at European Movement Ireland’s inaugural event of 2014, Minister for European Affairs, Paschal Donohoe TD, said the freedoms set down by the European Union, which allow for the free movement of goods, services, capital and people, enable Ireland to successfully compete on the world stage(see full speech below).

Minister Donohoe went on to say that this ‘grand bargain’ of Europe should not be allowed to be diluted because of the difficulties being encountered by some nations.

“At the very core of the European Union is the principle of the free movement of goods, services, people and capital, which has provided us with opportunities we simply could not have harnessed on our own. This has allowed us, as a small nation on the edge of Europe, to successfully compete on the world stage with nations that in geographic size and scale, dwarf us.

“Our membership of the Union has allowed us to make the enormous transition from being one of the most closed economies in the world to one of the most globalised. We are now recognised as a communications and technology hub worldwide, with all of the biggest names in the market; Google, Apple, eBay, Amazon and Paypal having a significant presence here. The European Union has been key to that development.

“The protection of these freedoms is vital. At a time of great economic difficulty this is very demanding. But we should not forget the circumstances which inspired this vision. Devastation led to the birth of this concept, we should not let difficulty lead to its dilution. This is in our national self interest – as it creates the kind of Europe within which Ireland can flourish. 

“The integration of these freedoms creates the ‘grand bargain’ of Europe – citizens can move through national borders so that the goods, services and investments of the same countries can move freely too. This is part of our shared future. Not a risk to it.

“The maintenance of these freedoms is key to the continued success and strength of the Union. Any attempt to undermine or weaken these pillars could have significant political and economic repercussions.”