Mr McHugh said that the image of Angela Merkel and Nicolas Sarkozy supposedly running the show in Europe is not helping to the public’s perception of how the EU is involved in our affairs.
Deputy McHugh said: “Irish people have been bombarded in recent weeks and months by television images of the French and German leaders heading up crisis meetings on the eurozone.
“One would be forgiven for thinking that they are calling all the shots, but the reality is that all members of the European Union enjoy common status.
“Europe has provided, and continues to provide, a huge amount of support to Ireland. As a result, the ECB and the European Commission play a major role in our affairs. But this isn’t a one way street.
“Significant progress has been made by An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, and the Minister for Finance, Michael Noonan, at renegotiating the EU/IMF deal. These discussions are ongoing, and I believe they will continue to deliver better results for Ireland.”
The Donegal TD added: “Ireland is working with our European partners, and this work and the relationships that Ireland has built across Europe are vital in securing our return to prosperity. But the principle of multilateralism is weakened in the public mind by daily images of the Merkozy duet apparently running the show.
“Irish people are understandably dismayed at the repayment of Anglo bonds and a certain level of euro scepticism is not surprising. But the reality is Ireland needs to continue to work with our European counterparts. This will be to our long term benefit. Communicating this message to the public is a challenge, and I believe that the perception that the management of the eurozone is the preserve of two political figureheads is not making this process any easier.”Tags: