Ireland Assumes EU Presidency, Vows to Bring New Hope
Ireland takes over the six-month rotating presidency of the European Union for the seventh time on January 1, 2013, having last presided in 2004.
A special flag raising ceremony was held at Dublin Castle on December 31, which also marked the 40th anniversary of Ireland's membership of the EU and the start of the Year of Citizens in Europe.
Taoiseach Enda Kenny, Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore and Minister of State for European Affairs Lucinda Creighton were joined by Cabinet Ministers, MEPs, the Lord Mayor of Dublin Naoise Ó Muirí and other politicians and diplomats at the event.
Kenny said the presidency would be about stability, growth and jobs.
"We'll be in the business of solutions – a recovery country driving recovery in Europe," he said.
He said the presidency would also bring "new hope, new possibility, new confidence to our peoples".
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