By Cate McCurry, PA
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen is to visit Dublin on Thursday where she will meet with the Taoiseach.
Micheál Martin will welcome Ms von der Leyen to Government Buildings for a working lunch.
The two leaders are expected to discuss current issues on the EU agenda including the war in Ukraine, its impact on the cost and security of supply of energy, the outlook for the EU and global economy and the need to strengthen the EU’s partnerships with key allies including the US and UK.
While in the Irish capital, Ms von der Leyen will also address a joint sitting of the Houses of the Oireachtas to mark 50 years of Ireland’s membership of the European Union.
Speaking ahead of her visit, Mr Martin said: “I am delighted to welcome President von der Leyen to Dublin as we celebrate 50 years of membership of the European Union.
“Our EU engagement has been transformative for the country and the decision to join was amongst the most important taken in the history of the State.
“President von der Leyen has provided exemplary leadership at EU-level through several very difficult years, including on the Covid-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine.
“She has helped to shape and deliver effective EU responses, supporting our citizens and our enterprises.
“I greatly look forward to discussing the many issues on the EU’s agenda in my meeting with her – we are together in our commitment to finding common EU solutions to shared challenges.
“I will also, of course, take the opportunity to thank her for her constant solidarity with Ireland, and especially with people and businesses in Northern Ireland, as we have worked to find a practical and pragmatic way forward on the protocol.”