The Irish Presidency: Priorities and Pitfalls

By Tony Connelly, Europe Editor, Brussels Back in June 2004 Bertie Ahern was showered in adulation by his European counterparts. Ireland had just successfully negotiated the mammoth EU Constitution using its storied negotiating skills to reconcile vastly conflicting agendas – big countries versus small ones, voting rights at the Council of Ministers, the size of the European Commission, how to bridge an alarming democratic deficit.