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DIPLOMATIC SHORTS

Irish Ambassador addresses conference in Bratislava

THERE are around 30,000 Slovaks currently living in Ireland, which means that the country has quickly become aware of Slovakia's presence in the European Union, Irish Ambassador to Slovakia Declan Connolly told a conference in Bratislava on October 15.

Over the past 50 years, the EU has gone through difficult periods, but "now we can look back and see the huge benefits produced by a common market," he added.

Ireland has also benefited since joining the Union in 1973, especially economically, he said. Its experience could serve as a model for Slovakia over the next few years, said Connolly, noting that Slovakia is much the same size as his country.

Connolly was speaking at a conference called A Vision of Europe in The World of Tomorrow, the TASR newswire wrote.

The Irish ambassador also noted the importance of the EU Intergovernmental Conference 2007, a summit held in Lisbon on October 18 and 19. The reform treaty expected to be finalised at the summit will determine a new phase in EU development, he said.

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