Saturday 29 November 2008

Ireland in Europe: Where is the UCD discussion paper?

The Houses of the Oireachtas, Sub-Committee on Ireland’s Future in the European Union report ‘Ireland’s future in the European Union: Challenges, Issues and Options’ (published 27 November 2008) has led to a spat.

The ‘no’ side accuses the Sub-Committee of not representing the ‘no’ side fairly and of drawing on expert work prepared by the University College Dublin European Institute, said to be pro-EU.

In the foreword Committee Chairman Paschal Donohoe gives tribute to the discussion paper:

“I also wish to thank UCD’s Dublin European Institute for their discussion paper, which made an invaluable contribution to the Sub-Committee’s work.”

Naturally, any political minority is free to accuse the majority of availing itself of expert work, as you can see in today’s Irish newspapers (Irish Times and Irish Independent).

But outside Ireland the reasoning of the UCD European Institute might be of interest due to the contents of the contribution, more than for reasons of partisan bickering.

Since the Lisbon Treaty has been approved by 25 national parliaments, there is great European interest in Ireland’s future role in Europe.



Yesterday and today I have tried in vain to find the European Institute’s discussion paper on the web (and the published Oireachtas report does not include the Annexes mentioned in the Contents).

Since this blog has a number of Irish readers, I turn to them with a question: Can you locate the UCD European Institute’s discussion paper on Ireland’s future in Europe for me and my readers?

Information would be gratefully received, since it would complement the materials mentioned in yesterday’s blog post ‘Ireland and Lisbon Treaty’ as well as earlier entries.

Ralf Grahn


  1. Ralf, Unfortunately, I write in haste and have not been able to research *at all*, but is it possible that Mr Donohoe was mistaken in calling it UCD's Institute ? It may instead have been the document you mentioned the other day

  2. Fergus,

    No, there does not seem to be confusion. The reference to the UCB's Europe Institute was clear. The Irish Times referred to the discussion paper in at least one article 27/28 November and in another one 28/29 November (I did not save the exact references).

    In other words, I am still looking for the Europe Institute discussion paper.

    In one reference (newspaper article) I saw some days ago, it had several named authors.

  3. OK. The document does not seem to be available.I will make enquiries directly with the Oireachtas and the Institute. I have to say that I will not be astonished if disclosure is refused, but maybe that's just me being cynical

  4. Fergus,

    In my view, there is nothing for the Houses of Oireachtas or for renowned experts from the UCD's European Institute to be ashamed of.

    Therefore, the difficulties in finding the discussion paper are somewhat puzzling, but a refusal to publish would be incoprehensible.

    Anyway, I wish you luck in your enquiries and I continue to look for this important contribution.

  5. Ta-da !

    Another triumph for Usenet via James of the ie.general newsgroup

  6. Fergus,

    Thank you very much for your help!

    Look out for the next blog post.


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