European Movement Ireland (EM Ireland) is an independent not-for-profit organisation that campaigns for every Irish person to get involved in the European Union and by doing so, help shape it. It is the oldest Irish organisation dealing with the EU, pre-dating Ireland’s membership of the EU in 1973 by almost twenty years. The organisation is headed by Executive Director, Noelle O'Connell. Maurice Pratt acts as Chairman of the EM Ireland Board.
EM Ireland today works to promote reasoned, robust and fair debate about Europe in Ireland.
On 11 January 1954, one hundred people met in the Shelbourne Hotel in Dublin and founded the Irish Council of the European Movement. Signing the Articles of Association that founded the European Movement were seven pioneers of Ireland’s future in Europe. They were: Donal O’Sullivan, University Lecturer; Garret Fitzgerald, Economist; Louis P F Smith, Economist; Denis Corboy, Barrister-at-Law; George J Colley, Solicitor; Declan Costello, Barrister-at-Law; and Sean J Healy, Secretary.
These seven signatories laid the first stone paving Ireland’s way to full membership of the EU. The aim of the Irish Council was to inform Irish individuals and organisations about the EU. One of its primary objectives was for Ireland to gain membership of the European Economic Community (EEC), as the EU was then known. Former Taoisigh Garret Fitzgerald and Jack Lynch, and former President Mary Robinson backed the initiative and Ireland entered the European Communities in 1972.
The Irish Council later became European Movement Ireland. Today the organisation continues to act as source of information for Irish citizens regarding the work of the EU and campaigns to promote reasoned robust and fair debate about Europe in Ireland.
European Movement Ireland campaigns for every Irish person to get involved in the European Union and by doing so, help shape it, through a series of advocacy and education programmes.
European Movement Ireland runs a series of education and advocacy campaigns throughout the year. For 2012, these will include:The Grad Jobs in Europe Campaign
Grad Jobs in Europe is a multi-faceted campaign that aims to inform recent Irish graduates of the opportunities available to them in the EU jobs-market. Elements of this campaign include The Green Book guide to internships in Europe, the Brussels Connection event, nationwide careers talks, the College of Europe scholarship application process and the Jobs and Internships in Europe webpage.The Accountability Campaign
Launched in early 2011, the Accountability campaign questions who exactly is responsible for Irish decision-making in the EU and aims to encourage greater ownership of each player’s role in EU affairs. By tracking key indicators in each stage of the legislative process, EM Ireland has analysed where the decisions that affect Ireland are made, who they are made by, and how these people can be influenced. The 2011 Accountability Report is due for release in March 2012The Citizens' Initiative Campaign
The European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI) was one of the major innovations of the Lisbon Treaty. From 1 April 2012, Citizens’ Initiative Committees around Europe will be able to register a European Citizens’ Initiative with the European Commission. A new democratic tool, it aims to allow one million citizens to ask the EU to take action in an area in which it has the power to act. European Movement Ireland is tracking the progress of the development of the ECI in order to ensure Irish citizens are fully informed about their rights in this regard, and the process involved in creating an Initiative.Education and Training Programmes
European Movement Ireland operates a number of education and training programmes designed to help people understand how the EU works while also getting people thinking and talking about Europe and the kind of Europe they want to live in.
Other projects and programmes of note include the My Vision for Europe all-island schools competition, run by EM Ireland in conjunction with a number of partners; European Movement Ireland's Third-Level Education Audit; and the EM Ireland In the News webpage and information service.
European Movement Ireland is part of a pan-European network. European Movement International is a lobbying association that coordinates the efforts of associations and national councils with the goal of promoting European integration, and disseminating information about it. It seeks to encourage and facilitate the active participation of citizens and civil society organisations in the European Union as it develops. The European Movement network is represented in over 41 countries and has over 20 international organisations as members. The current President of European Movement is German MEP Jo Leinen. For a full list of all European Movement offices, and an outline of the history of the international network visit the EM International website at http://www.europeanmovement.eu/