President Michael D Higgins speaks at DCU

President Michael D Higgins and DCU President Brian MacCraith. Photo: Aurelie Sicard

On January 25th President Michael D Higgins delivered the opening keynote address on “The Future of Europe” at the official launch of the DCU Brexit Institute. President Higgins warned against politicians trying to divide people based on religion, nationality and race. He spoke on the main challenges that will face not just citizens of the EU, but the entire planet in the future – climate change, migration and jobs. In response to these challenges there should be a focus on hope rather than fear.



Herman van Rompuy. Photo: Cornelia Baciu

The conference also included contributions from a range of prominent actors directly involved in the Brexit process. Hilary Benn, Chairman of the UK House of Commons Committee on Exiting the EU spoke on the future of EU-UK relations post-Brexit. Herman Van Rompuy, President emeritus of the European Council spoke on the future of EU integration. Helen McEntee, Minister of State for EU Affairs gave an address on “Citizens’ Dialogue on the Future of Europe”.

The closing address was given by Simon Coveney, Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, with Special Responsibility for Brexit. A panel discussion on “Brexit, Ireland and the Future of Europe”  featured Dearbhail McDonald, Irish Independent (Chair); Daniel Kelemen, Rutgers University; Noelle O’Connell, European Movement Ireland; and Etain Tannam, Trinity College Dublin. DCU President Prof Brian MacCraith and Director of the Brexit Institute Prof Federico Fabbrini also spoke on the day. The event was covered in the national media by RTE News.


Tánaiste Simon Coveney and Prof Federico Fabbrini. Photo: Cornelia Baciu

The DCU Brexit Institute is led by Director Prof Federico Fabbrini of the School of Law and Government. The Institute was established with the aim to explore how Brexit impacts on government, business and society at large. The DCU Brexit Institute operates as a hub for the analysis of Brexit, both from an academic and a policy perspective. Through the organization of regular events the Brexit Institute provides a leading platform to document and debate developments in the relations between the UK and the EU. To learn more about the DCU Brexit institute see


Helen McEntee. Photo: Cornelia Baciu
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