Published: Tue, 22 June 2021
Opening the door to Europe for up to 200,000 visitors annually
Today (Tuesday, June 22) the European Parliament voted to approve an investment of nearly €45 million for a bespoke ‘Europa Experience’ visitor centre for Ireland. As the second largest ever investment of its kind, it confirms Ireland’s place at the heart of Europe.
The centre will play a key role in strengthening the relationship of Irish citizens with the European Union. Its location on Chatham Street, just off Grafton Street with one of the highest footfalls in Europe, opens the door to Europe for up to 200,000 visitors annually.
Fine Gael MEPs, led by Séan Kelly, welcomed the announcement stating, “we were delighted to actively support the proposal for this new building and I am very happy to see that it has overcome the final hurdle and is now becoming a reality. It is proof of the EU’s commitment to Ireland. As a small nation state, particularly after Brexit, this confirms Ireland’s place at the table, it will be a valuable resource for our citizens and its construction and operation will bring a welcome boost to the economy.”
“The building will act as a European Liaison office and will shine a light on the work of the European Union in Ireland, bringing the work we do in Brussels and Strasbourg closer to our citizens. Most importantly, it will transform the engagement of students and educators with the European institutions.
This is of critical importance in the context of Ireland’s ‘A Career for EU’ strategy to increase the number of Irish citizens securing work in the European Institutions. The visitor centre will provide a valuable platform to inform and inspire more young people to take up a career within the EU. I would like to see a partnership between the Europa Experience and Oireachtas visitor centres to offer visitors, and especially school groups, the opportunity to experience European democracy in action”, said MEP Seán Kelly.
“The new office will provide a fantastic opportunity for those who wish to discover more about the European project and the opportunities available to participate in it through an interactive 360-degree cinema, a multimedia exhibition and the installation of educational role play games”, he continued.
This new facility will bring people together from all across the island and is expected to attract up to 100,000 visitors annually, with capacity for up to 200,000. “The project will give people across Ireland insight into how the European Union is investing in the future of Irish citizens”, Kelly said:
“This announcement comes days after the European Union’s latest commitment to Ireland, as the country is to receive the largest share of the €5 billion European Union Brexit fund. These announcements confirm the EU’s ongoing commitment to our country”, Kelly added.