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Strategy Statement 2003 - 2005


A Message from the Taoiseach 

I would like to welcome the publication of the Strategy Statement of the Department of the Taoiseach for the period 2003 to 2005. It is important that all Ministers and Departments review their strategies and objectives on a regular basis, and the appointment of the new Government has provided a useful opportunity to do so.

The Government faces a number of fresh challenges since the last Strategy Statement was prepared, notably the changed economic circumstances at home and continuing uncertainty abroad. We may live on an island, but our economy is one of the most globally connected in the world. For economic growth, for job creation, for building competitiveness and for improving social justice, we must manage our economy prudently. We must also continue to invest for the future in priority areas such as health, education, social inclusion and infrastructure and to secure and maintain a leading position for Ireland in the global information society.

We will, of course, work to ensure that we preserve and build on our achievements in the peace process. 

The European Union will continue to provide the framework within which Irelands future prosperity and well-being will be secured and developed. Our continued positive engagement with the European Union as it develops and enlarges will remain the cornerstone of Government policy. 

Managing and leading the European Union efficiently and effectively during Irelands Presidency in the first half of 2004 will be a major priority. Our Presidency seems likely to take place at a time of unpredictable international political and economic change. In addition, the historic enlargement of the European Union is scheduled and an intergovernmental conference may conclude during our Presidency. Intensified engagement with our all our partners in the European Union will be required to ensure the best possible outcomes for the European Union and for Ireland.

We will continue to play a constructive role in the wider world through the European Union, in the United Nations and in other multilateral organisations. The continuing development of our bilateral relations with countries all over the world will be important to maximise the benefits of globalisation to the Irish economy. 

I am confident that this Strategy Statement provides a sound basis for my Department's contribution to meeting the challenges in the coming years. I would like to reiterate my gratitude to the staff of the Department, whose commitment and professionalism continue to play an important role in supporting me in fulfilling my duties as Taoiseach, and in helping the Government to achieve its objectives. 

Bertie Ahern, TD


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