Commissioner McGuinness celebrates Ireland’s 50 Years of EU Membership in the Consulate General of Ireland New York

11 October 2022
EU Commissioner Mairead McGuinness speaking into a microphone.
Attendees pose for a group photo with EU Commissioner Mairead McGuinness.

Voting to join the European Economic Community in 1972 was a leap of faith for her parents’ generation, EU Commissioner Mairead McGuinness told an audience in New York on 11 October, but one that has brought opportunities to millions of Irish people since, in ways few would have imagined when the membership poll took place.

Commissioner McGuinness was addressing an event marking 50 years of Ireland’s EU membership and hosted by the Consulate General of Ireland in New York. Attendees included US-based representatives of EU Member States, members of the Irish community and members of the Irish-American business and legal communities.

In her remarks, the Commissioner reflected on the 1972 referendum campaign and the transformative social and economic changes that have occurred since – many of them enabled by the opportunities presented by EU membership. She also noted that there were anxieties and fears about the challenges EU membership would bring, including whether Ireland’s economy would be able to manage increased competition from foreign goods.

The reception with Mairead McGuinness, the European Commissioner for financial services, financial stability and Capital Markets Union, was the second in a programme of EU50 events organised by CG New York. Earlier that day, Commissioner McGuinness attended a discussion organised by the European American Chamber of Commerce New York on the EU-U.S. cooperation on digital and sustainable finance, in partnership with the New York Stock Exchange and the Consulate General of Ireland in New York.

The following day the Commissioner travelled to Washington D.C. for further engagements, including an EU50 event hosted by the Embassy of Ireland.

EU Commissioner Mairead McGuinness speaking at a podium on stage against a backdrop of the Irish and EU flags.