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Foreign Affairs | Engagements with Emmanuel Macron

To ask the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs if he will report on recent engagements with President Emmanuel Macron.

– Alan Farrell T.D.

For WRITTEN answer on Tuesday, 31 January, 2023.

To ask the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs if he will report on recent meetings with the French President, Emmanuel Macron.

– Bernard J. Durkan T.D.

For WRITTEN answer on Tuesday, 31 January, 2023.


I attended a working lunch with President Macron in Paris on Thursday, 24 November 2022. The meeting was an opportunity to mark the intensification of our bilateral relations in recent years, and to exchange views on current EU and international issues ahead of the December European Council.

Bilateral relations with France have never been stronger. Our Joint Plan of Action, signed in 2021 during President Macron’s visit to Dublin, underpins this. This new closeness is exemplified by the significant increase in maritime connections to Cork, Rosslare and Dublin, which have provided a direct and reliable route to the EU Single Market, supporting an 18% increase in trade in goods between Ireland and France in 2021. It has also supported a significant increase in tourism numbers and people-to-people exchanges.

During my visit to Paris, I also attended a signature ceremony for the Celtic Interconnector which will link the Irish and French grids when it comes online in 2026. In our meeting, President Macron and I greatly welcomed this important new piece of infrastructure and hoped that it would herald a new era of cooperation in the energy space, including on offshore wind. The interconnector is an excellent example of the type of strategic cooperation necessary to unlock the potential of the vast renewable energy resources available to Ireland, and to Europe more generally.

President Macron and I share a deep commitment to the European project, which remains the bedrock of prosperity and well-being on our continent.  In our meeting we agreed that the EU will only rise to the many challenges it faces if we continue to stand together, to work with unity and purpose, and supporting each other through difficult times.

In our discussions we also shared our unequivocal support for the people of Ukraine and agreed on the need to continue delivery of vital humanitarian supports to the Ukrainian people.

On economic prospects for the period ahead, we agreed that the European Union must continue to play to its strengths: driving forward with the digital and green transformations and maintaining our global competitiveness.

We discussed renewing and strengthening the European Union’s partnerships with key allies, not least the US and the UK, particularly at a time when democracy is under pressure in many parts of the world. I paid tribute to the initiative President Macron took in proposing the European Political Community.

I took the opportunity to express again my personal thanks to President Macron for his unswerving solidarity with Ireland throughout Brexit.

While in Paris, I also visited the Irish Cultural Centre, where I met with representatives of the Irish Community in France. I also addressed the Ireland France Business Awards Dinner.

President Macron and I also both attended the EU-Western Balkans Summit in Tirana, Albania, on Tuesday, 6 December 2022 as well as the European Council in Brussels on 15 December.

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