My vision is that Northern Ireland will become a preferred European region of choice..

As the agreement that isn’t an agreement, yet, threatens to unravel, the [newly appointed? – Ed] Minister for Europe, David Hanson yesterday announced Northern Ireland’s first European strategy[pdf file] [where’s the speech gone? – Ed].. to the chagrin of one MEP for Northern Ireland who complained, “What we need now is new thinking and not more of the tired old approaches of the past.”.. Indeed..The NIO press release


Minister for Europe, David Hanson MP, has launched Northern Ireland’s first European strategy.

‘Taking Our Place in Europe’ maps out a framework for Northern Ireland’s engagement with Europe.

David Hanson said: “A region’s place in Europe is no longer defined by geography, but by how it relates to, and integrates with the broader European community.

“My vision is that Northern Ireland will become a preferred European region of choice for partnership working and within which to live, work, study and invest.

“Northern Ireland is ready to play its part in the expanding, dynamic Europe of the 21st century. We are confident in a world that is more inter-dependent than ever. The regions that will do well in this age of globalisation will be the ones that build the strongest alliances.”

Reflecting on networking and partnerships, David Hanson said: “We are not strangers to international co-operation. Over the last three years we have invested £6.5 million of Peace Programme funds in building European networks of co-operation between the people of Northern Ireland and continental Europe. In that time, we have created almost 40 international networks.”

Commenting on the timeliness of the Strategy, David Hanson said: “As we approach the 50th anniversary of the signing of Europe’s founding Treaty of Rome, it is appropriate that Northern Ireland maps out the positive and proactive role it will play in the Europe of the future.”