Byrne appointed as new Minister of State for European Affairs

Fianna Fáil TD Thomas Byrne has been appointed as the new Minister of State for European Affairs. Byrne replaces Fine Gael TD Helen McEntee, as she assumes her new role as Minister for Justice.

Deputy Byrne was first elected to the Dáil in 2009 from the Meath East constituency, but lost his seat in the 2011 general election. He regained his seat in the 2016 general election.

Speaking at the Department of Foreign Affairs, Minister Byrne said:

“I am delighted to be taking on the role as the Minister of State for European Affairs.

The negotiations for the new EU budget will take place immediately, where I will emphasise the importance of maintaining and safeguarding the Common Agricultural Policy [CAP].

“I will also work with partners on our response to the economic and social challenges arising from the Covid-19 pandemic.”

Minister Byrne continued: “Ireland greatly appreciates the strong EU support and solidarity, including the crisis response package of economic and financial assistance, totalling more than €540 billion already agreed by the European Council.

“The ‘Next Generation EU’ recovery fund is another important element of the EU’s support for recovery.  All Europeans are affected by this crisis.

Brexit and the outcome of the current negotiation process, between the EU and the UK, remains a vital focus in the coming months.

“Preparing for the end of this transition is a national priority. I will be working closely with the Taoiseach, the Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney, other colleagues across government and my European counterparts to plan and be ready for this next phase of the Brexit process,” Minister Byrne concluded.