There will be around 1600 meetings during our Presidency, over 180 of them in Ireland. We expect to welcome approximately 15000 delegates, and to host over 500 visits by international journalists. An overarching focus of the Irish Government’s planning is to carry out this complex and important task in an efficient, cost-effective and sustainable way.
The 2004 Irish Presidency cost around €110m. The cost of our 2013 Presidency is currently estimated at €60 million (though there may be some additional security costs). We have scaled back significantly, including for Presidency-related goods and services.
We have taken a range of measures to limit our costs:
All of our primary venues for events are state-owned, operated by the Office of Public Works. Dublin Castle will be our Presidency Headquarters, and the bulk of our events will take place there. The single location will save on set-up costs, and its central location cuts down on transport costs.
Buses will be the main transport. The use of cars will be restricted to Heads of Delegation for the 11 Informal Ministerial meetings and a handful of high-level events. Where it is absolutely necessary, it will be provided through a sponsorship deal with a leading car company.
Where possible we are arranging to make single bulk purchases to maximise value for money
We have sought sponsorship for key elements of the programme
Of the 180 events to be held in Ireland, the Presidency will only be paying for hotel rooms for Heads of Delegation for the 11 Informal Ministerial meeitngs and a handful of high-level events
Large volume handbooks, such as the Who’s Who (the personnel guide of the Presidency) will not be printed in hard copy, nor will the main Presidency Programme. All documents will be available for download on the Presidency website.
Like the Danish Presidency, we are not having bottled water at meetings but using tap water instead.
We have worked hard to make our Presidency more sustainable.
The two main conference hotels in Dublin (Herbert Park Hotel and the Westbury) are members of the Green Hospitality Programme overseen by Ireland’s Environmental Protection Agency.
Catering suppliers are required to provide meat and vegetable products sourced from suppliers who are listed as Approved Members of An Bord Bia Quality Assurance Schemes.
Fish products supplied must be sourced from suppliers/processors who adhere to the standards prescribed by Responsible Irish Fish.
The use of Fair Trade tea/coffee, free-range and/or organic meat, poultry and dairy products, sustainably sourced seafood and carbon foot-printing were all taken into account in the procurement process
The city-centre location of venues and hotels will encourage delegates to walk to and from meetings. With the cooperation of Dublin City Council and JC Decaux, visiting delegates will be given easy access to the Dublin Bikes scheme.
Where these modes of transport are not practical, delegates will be transferred by bus, rather than by car, wherever possible.
Large volume handbooks will not be printed, but will be available for download on the Presidency website. The Presidency Press Centre will be as paperless as possible.
To benefit from the wide availability of smartphones, a QR code card will direct delegates and press to the key elements on the Presidency website. We are also encouraging the distribution of meeting documents using QR codes and urls.
Dublin Castle, the main venue for the Irish Presidency, is working with Certification Europe to achieve ISO Standard certification for both Sustainable Event Management and Environment al Management.
Within Dublin Castle, recycling facilities, waste separation and energy efficient lighting and equipment will be used.
Water consumption will be minimised through the use of monitors and sensors.
Video conferencing between Brussels and Dublin has reduced the carbon footprint and saved money during Presidency planning.
The host broadcaster will transmit footage digitally, and will not use tapes.
The Presidency has cut back on items such as stationery and mementoes, and where possible has sourced them in Ireland.