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Seminar on 40 years of Ireland and Social Europe, 15 November 2013, Dublin

Emer Costello, MEP with Robin Hannan, Director, European Anti Poverty Network Ireland


Objective of the Seminar

The 40th Anniversary of Ireland in the European Union is not only an opportunity to commemorate the act of Ireland’s joining, but also 40 years of Ireland and Social Europe. The Ireland which joined the European Union in 1973 was behind the curve on many social issues, including equal pay for men and women, combatting poverty, etc. After Ireland joined great progress was made on these issues, but only after considerable debate within Ireland and between leaders in Ireland and in Brussels.

Chaired by Emer Costello, MEP, and co-hosted by the European Anti Poverty Network (EAPN) Ireland, this meeting is an opportunity both to look back and take stock, to hear from some of those who were present during the social policy debates in 1973 and also to look at some of the current challenges facing European social policy.


9h30-11h00:  Session 1:  Looking back

  • Dr Carole Holohan (UCD): Historical overview
  • Tony Brown: The battle in 1973 for equal pay and combating poverty
  • Fr.Michael Mernagh: reflections on the poverty programmes

11h15-13h00:  Session 2:  Looking forward

  • Orla O’Connor, Director National Women’s Council of Ireland: reflections on the future of gender equality policy
  • Professor Hugh Frazer, NUIM: Challenges for European and Irish social policy
  • Robin Hanan, Director, European Anti Poverty Network Ireland: reflections on the future of policy on social inclusion