On Thursday 25 January President Higgins gave the keynote address at the conference on “Brexit, Ireland and the Future of Europe.”
In his speech, the President welcomed the increase in public debate about the EU and the future of European cooperation, highlighting that the Union cannot be reconstructed from above, but must be renewed by focusing on the EU’s relevance for its citizens and the challenges they face.
The President said that the challenges which will test the European Union – climate change, global migration, the future of work – can only be met by restoring social cohesion and by strengthening those institutions that unite and protect solidarity in society.
Since his inauguration, the President has spoken on numerous occasions about the importance of renewing the EU, most notably in these speeches:
- • Address at Sorbonne University, February 2013
- • Address to the European Parliament, April 2013.
- • Address at a seminar on Democracy and Popular Legitimacy in the EU, March 2014
- • Address to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, January 2015
- • Address at New York University, September 2015
- • Address to the Association of Contemporary European Studies, April 2016
- • Address at the 7th annual TASC conference, June 2016
- • Speech to members of the Diplomatic Corps, January 2017
- • Address at the IBEC Business Leaders Conference, March 2017
- • Speech to the European Association of Former Members of Parliament, June 2017
- • Address to the ICTU Biennial Conference, July 2017
- • Speech at the Social Justice Ireland conference, November 2017