European Union

Smiling child with EU flag in doorway

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.


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