8/9 February 2013

Dr. Garret FitzGerald had a pronounced impact on Ireland not only as an active politician but as a thinker and commentator. An annual series of ‘Spring Schools’ named in his honour was initiated by UCD in 2012, co-sponsored by the Irish Times, with the first focused on ‘Democracy in the 21st. Century’.

The second Spring School in this series, on the theme ‘Ireland in Europe After 40 Years’, is being held on 8-9 February 2013, looking back on the 40 years since Ireland, together with the UK and Denmark, joined the (then) EEC, highlighting current challenges and debating the best ways forward. This topic, to which Garret FitzGerald devoted so much of his formidable energy, remains central to Ireland’s economic and social development; the series aims to deepen reflection and debate on how best to build on his legacy.

This year’s Garrett FitzGerald Spring School opens at 6pm on Friday, 8 February in the Quinn School, Belfield, with a talk by Professor Patrick Honohan, Governor of the Central Bank of Ireland, followed by a reception.

It continues on Saturday 9 February in Newman House, St Stephen’s Green, with sessions of talks by a set of invited speakers and ample scope for discussion and debate:

Professor Brigid Laffan of UCD’s School of Politics and International Relations will open with Garret Fitzgerald: Positioning Ireland in the EEC.

Professor William Paterson of the University of Aston will contrast Irish and UK experiences and attitudes to Europe in A Tale of Two Islands.

Niels Ersbøll, former Secretary General of the European Council, will talk from that perspective and about the experience of Denmark, the other new member state from 1973.

Professor Maurizio Ferrera of the University of Milan will talk about approaches to social policy in Europe, in particular contrasting welfare models with social investment models.

Professor John FitzGerald of the Economic and Social Research Institute will talk about economic aspects of Ireland’s experience over the period of membership and into the future.

Finally, Dr. Rory O’Donnell of the National Economic and Social Council will talk about ‘semi-sovereignty’ and the relationship between success in Europe and domestic institutional reform.

There is no charge for attendance, but those intending to do so should register their interest by e-mailing anne.murphy@ucd.ie as soon as possible. A full programme will be circulated shortly.

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