Ms Laurence Boone, Secretary of State for Europe, and Mr Peter Burke, Minister of State for European Affairs and Defence, met today during the visit to Ireland by Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne.
The two ministers welcomed the overall excellence of Franco-Irish relations which have continued to strengthen since the signing of the France-Ireland Action Plan 2021-2025 on August 26, 2021. Since Brexit, France is proud to be Ireland’s closest EU neighbour. As we celebrate 50 years of Ireland’s membership of the European Communities and the 225th anniversary of the "Year of the French", the links between our two countries, which both see their future at the heart of the European Union, have never been so strong. The two ministers also adopted the second annual report on the implementation of the Joint Plan of Action prepared by our embassies. This report describes, among other advances, the strong growth in our trade, the strengthening of links between our universities, and the intensification of our cultural, scientific and sporting cooperation.
In 2024, France and Ireland will work further to strengthen their cooperation in all areas. Climate-friendly mobility by our citizens between our two countries will be promoted, thanks to the combined train-ferry tickets announced by the French President and the Taoiseach in November 2022. While such tickets are already available, work will continue to make reservations easier. Continuing work on the Celtic Interconnector will, from 2027, connect Ireland to the continental electrical grid. Cultural cooperation, building on the cooperation launched in the cinema and audiovisual agreement signed in December 2022, and sports cooperation, on the occasion of the Olympic and Paralympic Games in Paris, will also be strengthened.