For Immediate Release - March 04, 2013

GOVERNOR PATRICK MEETS WITH AMBASSADORS FROM IRELAND AND EUROPEAN UNION

Irish & EU Ambassadors Meeting
Governor Patrick meets with Ambassador of the European Union to the U.S. Joao Vale de Almeida, Ambassador of Ireland to the U.S. Michael Collins and Consul General of Ireland to Boston Michael Lonergan in the Governor's Office. (Photo credit: Eric Haynes / Governor's Office)
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BOSTON – Monday, March 4, 2013 – Governor Deval Patrick today met with Ambassador of the European Union (EU) to the United States João Vale de Almeida, Ambassador of Ireland to the United States Michael Collins and Consul General of Ireland in Boston Michael Lonergan. Ireland currently holds the rotating EU Presidency. The meeting builds on the Patrick-Murray Administration’s commitment to cultivating and expanding the existing relationship between Massachusetts and the EU, its largest trade partner.

“It’s a pleasure to welcome Ambassador Vale de Almeida, Ambassador Collins and Consul General Lonergan to Massachusetts,” said Governor Patrick. “Strengthening our ties with the European Union will allow the Commonwealth to compete in the 21st century global economy.”

Prior to becoming Head of the Delegation of the European Union to the United States in 2010, Ambassador Vale de Almeida served as the Director General for External Relations at the European Commission. He was also Head of Cabinet for European Commission President José Manuel Barroso, and before that held a senior position in the Directorate General for Education and Culture. Ambassador Vale de Almeida is originally from Portugal.

Prior to becoming Ireland’s Ambassador to the United States in 2007, Ambassador Collins served as second secretary general at the Department of the Taoiseach, or Irish prime minister. He was also Ireland’s Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and the United Emirates, and then to the Czech Republic and Ukraine. Collins last visited Boston in February 2012 with Taoiseach Enda Kenny.

The EU, which has the largest GDP in the world at $15.7 trillion, represents 34 percent of Massachusetts’ exports and 27 percent of imports. Supporters believe harmonized standards and regulations between the EU and the U.S. would have a significant effect on GDP growth for both markets.

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