European Movement Ireland Essay

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European Movement Ireland Logo

Formation11 January 1954
Legal statusCompany Limited by Guarantee
HeadquartersDublin, Ireland

Region served



Individuals, Student, Public Representatives and Corporates

Executive Director

Noelle O'Connell

Chairman of the Board

Maurice Pratt

Parent organization

European Movement International

European Movement Ireland (EM Ireland) is an independent not-for-profit organisation that campaigns for every Irish person to get involved in the European Union and by doing so, help shape it. It is the oldest Irish organisation dealing with the EU, pre-dating Ireland’s membership of the EEC in 1973 by almost twenty years. The organisation is headed by Executive Director, Noelle O'Connell. Maurice Pratt acts as Chairman of the EM Ireland Board.


On 11 January 1954, one hundred people met in the Shelbourne Hotel in Dublin and founded the Irish Council of the European Movement. Signing the Articles of Association that founded the European Movement were seven pioneers of Ireland’s future in Europe. They were: Donal O’Sullivan, University Lecturer; Garret Fitzgerald, Economist; Louis P F Smith, Economist; Denis Corboy, Barrister-at-Law; George J Colley, Solicitor; Declan Costello, Barrister-at-Law; and Sean J Healy, Secretary.

These seven signatories laid the first stone paving Ireland’s way to full membership of the EU. The aim of the Irish Council was to inform Irish individuals and organisations about the EU. One of its primary objectives was for Ireland to gain membership of the European Economic Community (EEC), as the EU was then known. Former Taoisigh Garret Fitzgerald and Jack Lynch, and former President Mary Robinson backed the initiative and Ireland entered the European Communities in 1972.

The Irish Council later became European Movement Ireland. Today the organisation claims to act as source of information for Irish citizens regarding the work of the EU and its stated aim is to promote reasoned robust and fair debate about EU in Ireland.

European Movement International[edit]

European Movement Ireland is part of a pan-European network. European Movement International is a lobbying association that coordinates the efforts of associations and national councils with the goal of promoting European integration, and disseminating information about it. It seeks to encourage and facilitate the active participation of citizens and civil society organisations in the European Union as it develops. The European Movement network is represented in over 41 countries and has over 20 international organisations as members. The current President of European Movement is German MEP Jo Leinen. For a full list of all European Movement offices, and an outline of the history of the international network visit the EM International website at

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