City to host 2013 Euro delegation
Derry will host a major delegation of members of the European Parliament next year as part of Ireland’s presidency of the European Union.
Fifteen MEPs will spend time in the city during a study visit to Ireland in May.
The visit to Derry has been secured by Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson.
European Parliament study trips usually visit one city, traditionally the capital of the member state holding the European Union presidency, but next year the visit will break from precedent by visiting Derry.
Speaking in Brussels, Ms Anderson explained that Ireland’s presidency of the European Union will be a great opportunity for Derry.
“It is a big occasion for Ireland and it will be a great opportunity for Derry in particular,” she said.
“Each year a study visit is held where a delegation of MEPs visits a city to learn more about the country and its people.
“It is usually held in one place but I have arranged that next year’s study visit will split its time between two cities and will visit Derry.
“This is great for Derry and it places us right at the centre of Ireland’s presidency of the European Union at a time when key decisions will be made so, effectively, Derry will take centre stage in European affairs,” she said.
Explaining what the study visit will involve, Ms Anderon said; “The study visit will include 15 MEPs who will spend a number of days in Dublin and a number of days in Derry in May.
“While in Derry they will engage with a number of groups and stakeholders and learn from the experiences of the city.
“This will help inform European policy and they will be able to go back to the European Parliament and their political groups and share what they have learned,” she said.
The Sinn Féin MEP said the visit will provide an opportunity to showcase Derry’s City of Culture celebrations to a wider European audience.
“It is fantastic that the study visit will come to Derry during the City of Culture year.
“It will be the best time for these MEPs to come to Derry and experience everything that is happening and see the city in a good light.
“From my own discussions with MEPs in Brussels and Strasbourg it is clear that many of them are aware of Derry’s City of Culture status and are keen to find out what it is all about.
“It has certainly increased awareness of Derry on the European stage and I have had many MEPs who, when they find out I’m from Derry, come up to me and ask questions about the city and about the City of Culture in particular. There is a lot interest in Derry from Europe and that only going to grow with this study visit.
“People from other member states are asking me about travel and how to get to Derry and what is happening here in the city. It is great to see that level of interest in the city for such a positive and exciting time,” she said.
Ms Anderson also said funding opportunities also exist in Europe for the city. “I have been seeking to identify funding streams in Europe to find out if there is any additional funding which could be used to support the Culture Company and what support can be given to next year’s events,” she explained.
Search for a job
Search for a car
Search for a house
Weather for Derry
Sunday 19 May 2013
Temperature: 10 C to 15 C
Wind Speed: 10 mph
Wind direction: South
Temperature: 9 C to 13 C
Wind Speed: 18 mph
Wind direction: North west