North County Leader

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Help Ireland Win In Europe


Fine Gael spokesperson on EU Affairs, Senator Neale Richmond announced last week that the application period for the March ’18 intake group under the European Commission traineeship is now open.

Richmond says that the window of opportunity to apply remains open until 31st August. He is very enthusiastic in his encouragement for young people to apply. He says, “A traineeship with any EU institution is an excellent way to experience firsthand the workings of the EU and to prepare you for a fulfilling career in a range of industries.”

“The traineeship with the European Commission is one of the best possible ways of kicking off a career in European public affairs or for gaining an insight into various sectors at the highest possible level.”

Trainees work all over the European Commission. The job description largely depends on the service you are assigned to. You may, for example, work in the field of competition law, human resources, environmental policy or beyond.

“As a young graduate, I had the opportunity to take up a traineeship in Brussels that led to a full time job within months and followed on to a career working in the European public affairs fields.”

“Ireland has a rich history of having top individuals taking up the most important roles within the European Union such as former European Commission Secretaries General, David O’Sullivan and Catherine Day; former European Parliament President Pat Cox; current EU ombudsman Emily O’Reilly; and current European Parliament Vice President, Mairead McGuinness MEP. Being a small Member State, it is vital for Ireland to send some of its best people to Brussels, Luxembourg, Strasbourg and beyond to work in the EU institutions and to provide an important Irish voice in this vital legislative forum,” he said.

This last point was well made on a number of occasions in the course of the MacGill Summer School recently by many of the speakers. The communal view was that it is important that Ireland fill every available post they can within the EU machine.

Also at MacGill, a very strong message was sent to SF that they need to take their seats in the UK Parliament. Last year, when the late Martin McGuinness complained of the lack of a nationalist voice to speak in respect of Brexit at Westminster, I wrote here that his party was the one that was in a position to provide that voice. The policy of abstention, first proposed by Fingal man Andrew Kettle back in the 1870s and repackaged by Griffith at the commencement of the last century, was a product for a time. The UK is on a dangerous road as it negotiates Brexit. Ireland needs to be able to count on every Irish voice, be it in the Dail, European Parliament or Westminster. Polices must respond to the demands of the age not relay on past victories for justification.