News & Events

Minister Burke attends Trade Council in Brussels

Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment Peter Burke TD will join his fellow Trade Ministers at a formal meeting of the EU Foreign Affairs Council (Trade Formation) in Brussels today. Commission Executive Vice President Dombrovskis will represent the European Commission at the meeting which will be chaired by Ms. Hadja Lahbib, Belgium’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, European Affairs, Foreign Trade and the Federal Cultural Institutions, on behalf of the Belgian Presidency.

There will be two working sessions during the Council, firstly, Ministers will discuss the future of EU trade policy in the context of EU competitiveness. Secondly, Ministers will discuss EU trade and investment relations with Africa.

Over lunch Ministers will discuss the latest developments at WTO level following on from the 13th WTO Ministerial Council which was held in Abu Dhabi in February.

Speaking ahead of the Council meeting today Minister Burke said:

“I am looking forward to engaging with my fellow trade ministers in Brussels in what is my first Trade Council. For Ireland, an open, global trade policy is one of the defining features of the European Union. This is a foundation-stone for peace, prosperity and innovation to support sustainable development and to help us meet the challenges of tomorrow. An open, ambitious, rules-based trade agenda, with a fully-functioning WTO at its core, must continue to be a key strategic priority for the Union.”

Commenting on EU trade relations with Africa, Minister Burke stated:

“When we consider trade relations with Africa, inclusive and sustainable trade should be underpinned by development co-operation programmes such as building education and health systems, supporting women’s economic empowerment, and addressing climate change. Deepening our trade relations with the African continent will help support regional economic integration in Africa and aid the continent’s integration in the global trading system.”