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Future of Europe in the spotlight in discussions between Eurofound and Irish Government

Eurofound’s Directorate met with Thomas Byrne T.D., Minister of State with responsibility for EU Affairs, in Dublin today to discuss the evolving role of the Agency in producing timely and relevant research on the implications of the COVID-19 pandemic on employment, the labour market and quality of life, as well as its strategic position as the only EU agency based in Ireland.

Eurofound’s Director, Ivailo Kalfin, Deputy Director, Maria Jepsen, and Minister Byrne reflected on the continuous close dialogue and cooperation between the Agency and the Irish government, and how the COVID-19 pandemic has further highlighted the importance of Eurofound’s work on both a national and European level. They also discussed how, as a tripartite Agency, Eurofound promotes cooperation dialogue between social partners, national governments, and the European institutions, with the next Foundation Forum in March 2022 providing a further opportunity to deepen this dialogue.

The meeting, held on the eve of President von der Leyen’s State of the European Union 2021 address, also discussed the ongoing Future of Europe conference as well as the forthcoming visit of EU Heads of Missions in Ireland to the Agency’s premises on 28 September as an important occasion for both cooperation and further analysis of Eurofound’s research findings.

Speaking shortly after the meeting, Ivailo Kalfin emphasised his ambition to continue the Agency’s close cooperation with the Irish government, ‘Eurofound has enjoyed a close and productive relationship with the Irish government and political institutions over decades, I am conscious of the importance of not only continuing this under my mandate, but also deepening it and ensuring that Eurofound acts as a hub of research and national cooperation on social policy in Europe.’

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Left to right: Thomas Byrne T.D., Maria Jepsen, and Ivailo Kalfin. Photo © Eurofound 2021, Mary McCaughey 

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