European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said that there can be no hard border on the island of Ireland, and any solution must ensure that the single market continues to function.
“Ireland can always count on the EU to stand by the Good Friday Agreement, there can be no hard border on the island of Ireland,” von der Leyen said on Thursday while addressing the Irish parliament in Dublin on a visit to mark Ireland’s 50 years of European Union (EU) membership.
“Joining the EU has unleashed Ireland’s immense potential and has profoundly transformed this country,” she said.
The top official noted that Ireland’s GDP has gone from half to double the EU average since it joined the bloc, reports Xinhua news agency.
She also said that Europe needed Ireland’s help to break free of reliance on Russian energy.
Ireland is “a wind energy superpower”, and “can become a net exporter of energy” to help the EU replace Russian fuel, she added.
Prior to her speech, von der Leyen held a meeting with Irish Prime Minister Micheal Martin.
The two leaders discussed the current issues on the EU agenda, including the need to strengthen the EU’s partnerships with key allies such as the US and UK.
Ireland signed a treaty to join the EU in January 1972, before officially becoming a member of the bloc in January 1973.