UCC Europa Society are debating the merits of Ireland’s involvement in the European Union. The afternoon conference entitled “40 Years in Europe: Has It Been Worth It for Ireland?” is on Friday the 1st of March from 2 to 4pm.
Registration will begin at 2pm in the lobby of the Boole Basement, with the conference itself commencing at 2.30pm in Boole 4. The conference will comprise of speakers Lucinda Creighton TD, Minister of State for European Affairs, Professor Brigid Laffan of University College Dublin and Noelle O’Connell, Executive Director of European Movement Ireland and will be chaired by Europe Correspondent for the Irish Examiner, Ann Cahill.
Auditor of the UCC Europa Society, Gavin Long states: “Ireland’s membership of the European Union has never been such a relevant issue to discuss. As we look back at Irelands 40 year membership this conference creates a space where both students and members of the general public can come together to discuss the positive and negative aspects of our membership and where to go from here”
Long continues: “Given that this is the European Year of the Citizen, the participatory nature of this conference fits the criteria by increasing public engagement and awareness of Ireland’s role within the EU.”
The Society chose the particular question “40 Years in Europe: Has It Been worth It for Ireland” as the theme for their conference because of their own mission statement of engagement and debate around European issues. Gavin believes that the question “40 years in Europe: Has it been worth it for Ireland?” is an ideal question “as it suits the neutral aim of the society by allowing both sides of the argument to provide their thoughts on a topic that can at times be divisive yet which has never been more relevant.”
Europa Soc has had a busy first year, holding numerous events since their inception such as debates on whether a federal Europe is needed with Declan Ganley and whether or not the EU deserved to win the Nobel Peace Prize as well as a successful campaign to raise awareness and support for the European Citizens Initiative. Building on their success to date they hope to launch a journal on EU affairs towards the end of 2013. The society will also be holding events to mark international women’s day, the French film festival and cultural events to mark Europe day, 9th of May.
To reserve a space for the conference, students are asked to RSVP by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.