We are responsible for co-ordinating and monitoring the Department's European and international business, particularly cross cutting issues which may involve a number of divisions and departments.
The Division supports both the Minister and the Department in discharging our EU and Council of Europe responsibilities and in communicating and representing Ireland's interests at various meetings and events.
Key proposals and developments
We also monitor progress on key legislative and policy proposals arising in the Justice and Home Affairs (JHA) area. We keep abreast of key developments, engaging with other divisions on any issues that may need our attention, ensuring that any requiring our input are identified and are addressed at an early stage.
We coordinate and provide accurate and comprehensive briefing material to ministers to ensure that the Department’s policy positions are maintained and promoted, and that our contribution at meetings is optimised.
We agree policy lines with other divisions as required. We determine overall policy stances on cross-cutting issues, ensuring that these are conveyed in a clear and appropriate fashion at the relevant meetings and events.
Central to our division’s attendance at ministerial meetings is the provision of assistance and advice to the Minister, ensuring she is fully briefed so as to be able to make a full contribution.
|Address:||International Policy Division|
|7–11 Montague Street|
International Policy Division’s main office in Dublin is responsible for servicing and co-ordinating briefing material for meetings of the Justice and Home Affairs Ministerial Council (JHA Council), and briefs other EU Ambassadors based in Ireland on Irish policy positions in advance. Here's a Guide to How the European Union works.
The office also represents Ireland at various working parties of the Council of the European Union including the Article 36 Committee (CATS) which is a coordinating Committee in the area of Police and Judicial Cooperation in Criminal matters. IPD also services the working group on Schengen evaluation matters, the Council of Europe’s European Committee on Crime Problems (CDPC), and other working parties dealing with cross-cutting JHA matters as required.
It is also the responsibility of IPD to assist in facilitating greater governmental and Oireachtas engagement on JHA matters in line with the provisions of the Programme for Government.
The Houses of the Oireachtas have a central role in examining EU affairs. We ensure we fulfil the necessary obligations, and that the Minister is fully briefed and supported in her EU-related Oireachtas business, including her appearances before the Joint Committee on Justice Defence and Equality to discuss relevant matters.
The Department of the Taoiseach also has a central role in fostering EU engagement, and our staff attend Ministerial and interdepartmental co-ordination meetings on EU matters, always ensuring the Department’s interests are represented. These include the Cabinet Committee on European Affairs (CCEUA), the Senior Officials Group (SOG) and the Interdepartmental Committee on EU Engagement (ICEE).
International Policy Division works closely with the Departmental staff seconded to Ireland’s Permanent Representation to the EU in Brussels, an office which comes under the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
Permanent Representation to the EU
The Permanent Representation brings together under one roof civil servants from nearly every Irish government department, making it Ireland's biggest diplomatic mission abroad. Its role is to represent Ireland's interests in the European Union, and to support the Permanent Representative (Ambassador) to the EU, in particular at Coreper (the Committee of Permanent Representatives).
The Permanent Representation offers assistance to Ministers and other delegates during their visits to Brussels, and is responsible for advancing Irish policy objectives and the Department’s mission in EU matters under the direction of the Department of Justice and Equality in Dublin.
Staff of the Permanent Representation participate in the various Council working groups dealing with Justice and Home Affairs issues and ensure good communication between the Department in Dublin and contacts in the EU institutions and other Member States.
Also linked to International Policy Division is the Department’s Justice Attaché who works in the Permanent Representation of Ireland to the Council of Europe in Strasbourg, an office which comes under the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
Role of the Justice Attaché
The role of the Justice Attaché is to provide effective representation of Ireland's policy interests at the Council of Europe and its various committees. This broadly entails ensuring that Irish policy objectives are articulated and pursued in the relevant committees and that Council of Europe texts reflect, as much as possible, Ireland's key national priorities.
The role requires effective liaison with the Department of Justice and Equality and other government departments on justice related issues (including equality and integration) in order to ensure that Ireland's interests in these areas are properly represented and secured.
Council of Europe international conventions and monitoring bodies
The most prominent features of the Council of Europe are its international Conventions (e.g. European Convention on Human Rights) and its monitoring bodies:
Group of States against corruption (GRECO)
Action against Trafficking in Human Beings (GRETA)
European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT) and
European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI)
The Department is involved in various working groups of the Council of Europe including: