Ireland is a (founding) member of the Council of Europe. The Irish Minister for Foreign Affairs engages with the Committee of Minister of the Council. Ireland is a member of the European Union, joining the European Economic Community in 1973. Concerns were expressed during the two Lisbon referendums in Ireland in 2008 and 2009 about the ‘constitutionalising’ of the Charter of Fundamental Rights and about the potentially expanding reach of EU law. The main concern was that key decision-making by the Irish judiciary on aspects of fundamental rights might be supplanted in practice by the European Court of Justice. These concerns were not matched by the reality since the referenda. Most aspects of Irish life have improved through EU membership. Ireland was a net recipient of European funds up to the 2014-2020 Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) EU budget, but is expected to become a net contributor within the next framework 2021-2027. Ireland’s recovery from the financial crisis was aided by a three year EU/IMF financial assistance programme that ran from 2010-2013. Much of Ireland’s cultural infrastructure has benefited from EU structural funds and regional funds.
Ireland participates in Creative Europe and Horizon programmes of the European Commission. However, participation rates are lower than most other EU states. A Creative Europe desk supporting cultural projects is operated out of the Arts Council. For media support and advice, there is a Creative Europe MEDIA desk in Dublin and in Galway. Cross-sectoral support and advice is then offered across all three Creative Europe desk offices.
The Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, along with the Arts Council, has responsibility for implementing and monitoring the UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions.