Coinciding with the 156th CoR plenary session, the Eastern and Midland Regional Assembly (EMRA) undertook a two-day study visit to Brussels. The delegation, consisting of eight councillors and Chief Executive Jim Conway embarked on a whirlwind tour of the EU in their two-days meeting MEPS, EU officials and Irish Permanent Representation staff.
Starting their visit in the European Parliament, the MEPs began by meeting Barry Andrews MEP, Colm Markey MEP, Ciaran Cuffe MEP, as well as Clare Daly MEP. Staff from both Frances Fitzgerald MEP and Maria Walsh MEP offices’ made themselves available to the delegation to speak about their work.
Following a packed morning, the delegation made their way to the European Parliament’s hemicycle to see the conclusion of the 156th CoR plenary session.
The afternoon found the delegation making their way to the Committee of the Regions for a meeting Michael Collins, Deputy Director of the CoR. During their meeting Michael gave the delegation an overview of the work of the CoR as well as outlining the role of the Regional Assembly in the CoR’s work.
The first day’s meetings were rounded out with a presentation from DG Regio Representatives Carmen Gonazalez and Miia Jouppi who spoke to the delegation about EU Regional Policy programmes including the Just Transition Programme, European Regional Development Funding and the New European Bauhaus programme.
The delegation visited the Irish Permanent Representation on the second day of their visit to meet Fionnuala Bourke. Fionnuala spoke to the delegation about her role as Cohesion Policy Attache as well as the need to increase the Irish presence in top jobs in EU institutions.
The visit concluded with a meeting with DG Regio official Tatiana Gouveia Coelho de Oliveira who spoke to the delegation about the New European Bauhaus initiative.