The European Union (originally called the European Economic
Community) was established by the Treaty of Rome, signed by
Belgium, Germany, France, Italy, Luxembourg and the Netherlands in
1957. Throughout the last six decades the European Union (EU) has
grown to a membership of 27 Member States. Ireland has been a
member of the EU since 1973.
Ireland and the European Union
EU membership is pivotal to Irish Government policy. It is a
central framework within which the Government pursues its foreign
policy objectives. Ireland's membership of the European Union
is rooted in an understanding that the Union is the cornerstone of
political and economic stability in Europe.
The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) is responsible for securing
Ireland’s interests in the EU and ensuring that Ireland contributes
fully to the Union’s future development. This work is managed by
the Department’s European Union Division, as set out in the
Department’s Strategy Statement.
In promoting Ireland’s interests in the EU, DFA cooperates closely
with other Government Departments, the Permanent Representation of Ireland to the
EU, the EU Institutions and the Oireachtas.