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Fifth Annual Report of the Department of the Taoiseach


A Message from the Taoiseach

In reviewing the range of issues dealt with by my Department in 2003, it is clear that the increasing complexity of public policy making necessitates a more collaborative means of working together andjoint problem solving, whether the issue is infrastructure, Northern Ireland, social inclusion or public service modernisation.

My Department has worked closely with other Departments and State Agencies and a diverse range of both domestic and international partners and stakeholders during 2003 in order to achieve its objectives.

We currently have the great honour to hold the Presidency of the European Union at a challenging and exciting time. As 'Europeans - Working Together', we are seeking to drive forward an ambitious and critical body of work and to ensure successful outcomes that will benefit all Europeans for many years to come. Preparations for Ireland's Presidency of the European Union intensified during 2003. For the first six months of 2004 Ireland is at the helm of the European Union, driving forward the Union's agenda across a whole range of areas. The quality of the preparations undertaken has helped build confidence across Europe in our capacity to deliver.

This report records significant progress across a wide range of activities during 2003, activities which provide a sound basis for future progress. I would like to thank all staff for their professionalism and commitment without which the achievements made towards realising our goals would not have been possible.

Bertie Ahern, TD

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