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Ireland must become more pro-active in the post-Lisbon Treaty Europe and encourage a better response from the organs of Government, Irish Minister for Foreign Affairs Micheál Martin told the AEJ today (5 May).

Addressing the May lunch which also marked World Press Freedom Day (Monday, May 3), said form the level of Cabinet to its Committee and across Government Departments a thorough and coherent engagement with the agenda is necessary.

“And to be effective, it cannot be simply reactive but should anticipate and act upstream on major developments – the elaboration of a new Financial Framework for the EU post-2014 and Ireland’s likely transition to being a net contributor, to take an example,” he said. “The Minister said the Lisbon Treaty had given the EU a new framework and instruments for tackling tasks. New arrangements take time to settle but good progress has been made in just five months since entry into force,” he said.

Working to bring the considerable innovation, the External Action Service into being is one of the items that will recur on the agenda over the coming months, he said. It embodies a key objective of the Treaty, to make the EU more visible and effective in its external relations.

“It should have top-class staff – a number of very good Irish candidates have put their applications in – and in the end its composition should be representative of our Union as a whole,” he added.