The Republic of Ireland (ROI), an EU member since 1973, assumed the Presidency of the EU Council for the seventh time on January 1st. The torch was passed on by the Republic of Cyprus, which concluded its six-month Presidency on December 31st. Cyprus, having joined the EU in 2004, assumed the Presidency for the first time last July.
Ireland forms a Trio Presidency along with Lithuania and Greece.
Today a celebration to mark the Irish Presidency was held at Dublin Castle, where 40 balloons were released to symbolize Ireland’s forty-year presence in the Union.
The main aims of the Ireland-Lithuania-Greece Trio programme are to stimulate growth, create jobs and boost EU competitiveness