The attached research paper Report on EU Attendance was conducted by Markus Johansson and Daniel Naurin of the Dept of Political Science at the University of Gothenburg and presented at the SNES spring conference in Uppsala 22-23 March 2011.
SNES (Swedish Network for European Studies in political science) is Sweden’s leading research network dealing with questions of European politics and governance.
The study examined 808 EU Council meetings between 2000 and 2010 and found that Ireland had one of the highest average Ministerial attendances at Council of Minister’s meetings, 5th out of the 27 member states.
The authors of the study argue that attendance is an integral part of EU engagement and reflects the priorities of the governments involved. Ireland’s position as 5th highest out of the 27 member states from 2000-2010 is a testament to Fianna Fáil’s committeeman to Europe and strong engagement
This exposes the hollowness of claims repeatedly made by Government Ministers and the Taoiseach that Fianna Fáil failed to attend EU meetings.
2 thoughts on “Independent Study Shows Ireland had 5th Highest Attendance at EU Council Meetings 2000 – 2010”
It is interesting to note that German attendence is ranked 22nd, and that none of the larger EU countries rank in the top 10. So much for decisions being made by those who turn up.
If their performance at home were anything to judge by, Ahern & Co. probably spent most of their time at Council meetings boasting about how wonderful they were, rather than getting things done.
Anyway, the priority is what the current ministers are achieving at these meetings now. Arguing over who attended, and what they did at past meetings, is like two eunuchs arguing over who had the biggest erection prior to castration.
The current government asserts that it is improving our reputation by re-engaging with EU and redressing the poor levels of attendance by their predecessors – these stats show that attendance levels were not an issue and the FG/Lab claims were bogus. The question is not about “not showing up” – it is about whether Ministers attend or pass that function to Civil Servants. Every member state is represented at these meetings – so its not a matter of “decisions being made by those who show up” – everyone shows up: it a question of who we send. The Study addresses this specific issue in its opening paras.
I agree, however, that the question should not be about “inputs” ie attendance levels, but by “outcomes”: what is achieved at those meetings. The pity is that the bogus cliams by FG/Lab have diverted attention away from that debate – I wonder why?