November 21, 2019

Dr. Nicholas O’Brien in courtesy call to NRW

In the picture Ambassador Dr. Nicholas O’Brien & Premier Armin Laschet – Picture by Land NRW, Uta Wagner.

Tuesday, 8 October 2019, Düsseldorf, NRW: NRW Premier Armin Laschet received the new Ambassador of Ireland to Germany, Dr Nicholas O’Brien, for his inaugural visit to the State Chancellery in Düsseldorf. Amongst the topics discussed were bilateral relations, Ireland’s expectations of the new EU Commission, the Irish government’s new climate action plan and the impact of Brexit on Ireland.

The visit of the Irish Ambassador, who has been in office since 11 September 2019, was the third exchange between the Irish Government and the Irish Government this year. The previous week, the Minister for Federal and European Affairs and International Affairs, Dr. Stephan Holthoff-Pförtner, received the Irish Ambassador Dr Nicholas O´Brien for talks at the State Chancellery. In June, the State Secretary for Federal and European Affairs and International Affairs, Dr. Mark Speich, travelled to Dublin and met Minister of State Helen McEntee and the Director of the Brexit Institute of the Dublin City University DCU, Federico Fabbrini.

Background: North Rhine-Westphalia and Ireland

North Rhine-Westphalia and Ireland are linked by a variety of relationships, particularly in the economic sector. In 2018, the trade volume between North Rhine-Westphalia and Ireland amounted to around 2.6 billion euros. Exports from North Rhine-Westphalia accounted for around one billion euros. This makes Ireland one of North Rhine-Westphalia’s 30 most important trading partners. More than a quarter of all Irish companies in Germany are based in North Rhine-Westphalia. More than 2,500 Irish live here – one in five of them in Germany.

Currently, four North Rhine-Westphalian cities maintain partnerships with Irish cities. These are Cologne (with Cork and Dublin), Bad Lipp-springe (with Newbridge), Bielefeld (with Enniskillen) and Kierspe in the Sauerland (with Wicklow). The Rhein-Sieg-Kreis and the County of Cork are also closely linked.

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