Alexa
  • Directory of Taiwan

EU chief Barroso to meet Protestant, Catholic power-sharing leaders in Belfast

EU chief Barroso to meet Protestant, Catholic power-sharing leaders in Belfast

European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso traveled to Northern Ireland on Tuesday to meet the Protestant and Catholic leaders of the power-sharing government about to be formed in Belfast.
Barroso was expected to hold a joint news conference with Democratic Unionist leader Ian Paisley and Sinn Fein deputy leader Martin McGuinness.
Paisley, who represents the British Protestant majority, and McGuinness, who represents the Irish Catholic minority, have agreed to lead a 12-member, four-party administration starting May 8. The breakthrough became possible March 26, when Paisley abandoned his decades-old boycott on cooperation with Sinn Fein following that party's landmark decision to begin working with the Northern Ireland police force.
Power-sharing was the central goal of the 1998 peace accord, but a previous coalition collapsed in 2002 amid chronic arguments between Protestants and the IRA-linked Sinn Fein about the future of the outlawed Irish Republican Army. The IRA ended those arguments in 2005 by disarming and formally renounced its right to overthrow Northern Ireland by force.
Barroso traveled to Northern Ireland following an EU-U.S. summit Monday in Washington alongside U.S. President George W. Bush.
The European Union has been the major international donor to peace-promoting projects in Northern Ireland since the late 1980s. Since 1995 its special "peace and reconciliation" fund has given more than euro1 billion (US$1.3 billion) to community projects in Northern Ireland and in Republic of Ireland counties that border the British territory.


Updated : 2021-05-15 23:13 GMT+08:00