All Irish members (9 full and 9 alternate) are elected members of a local authority and through CoR membership, ex officio members of a respective Regional Assembly. Members are required to keep the Regional Assemblies informed of proceedings of the CoR. The Irish Delegation has agreed a pairing and rotation system to maximise the engagement of alternate members in the work of the CoR.
Local authority elections are held every five years in conjunction with the European Parliament elections.
Appointing the delegation
All Irish CoR members are nominated by the Government and reflect gender, political and geographical balances. The composition takes account of the broad political composition of the Irish local government system.
The Irish Delegation Secretariat
The Dublin-based Eastern and Midland Regional Assembly acts as secretariat to the Irish Delegation and also has responsibility for the Irish Regions Office in Brussels; as well as other functions, these offices support Irish CoR members.
Irish members are provided with information and briefings in advance of CoR meetings. The secretariat also provides assistance in drafting opinions and amendments and in liaising with outside parties in promoting the work of the Delegation.
Promoting Policy Interests
Full members normally meet in Ireland before plenary sessions to discuss policy issues and help develop common positions. These meetings are rotated around the regions to help enhance the link between the Regional Assemblies and the Delegation. There are also annual meetings of all full and alternate members, which focus on more strategic issues and include engagement with other Irish EU representatives and interested parties.
The Delegation is active in promoting Irish local and regional interests both within Ireland and on the wider stage. The Delegation has regularly met with the Oireachtas (Parliament) EU Affairs Committee and has made numerous submissions and presentations on EU and governance-related issues reflecting the Irish local and regional perspective.
The Delegation and its secretariat liaises regularly with relevant Irish Government Departments, the Irish Permanent Representation to the EU in Brussels and with other regional representative offices and organisations.