Month: October 2009
Finola and I will be leaving Washington at the end of this month at the conclusion of my five-year term as Ambassador here. This will be one of my last messages as Ambassador.
It has been a wonderful experience for both of us, and for our family. We have visited many parts of this dynamic country and made many American friends.
I have come into contact with many interesting people. While time and distance cannot be completely overcome, we do hope we will be able to maintain these friendships and contacts. I hope I will be able to maintain contact and exchange of ideas with those who have responded to my weekly messages.
While Prime Minister, Ambassador Bruton presided over a successful Irish EU Presidency in 1996 and helped finalize the Stability and Growth Pact, which governs the management of the single European currency, the Euro. Mr. Bruton addressed a joint session of the US Congress on September 11, 1996, as only the 30th head of state or government of an EU country to do so since 1945. He was probably the only President in office of the European Council to have addressed a joint session of Congress. Further, he represented the EU at Summit meetings with the President of the
United States and with the Prime Ministers of Canada, Japan, China and . Korea
Before being appointed Ambassador to the
United States, John Bruton served as a leading member of the Convention that drafted the proposed European Constitution, which was signed in on October 29, 2004. He strongly supported proposals to give the general public a more direct say in the choice of EU leadership by allowing the public of the 27 EU Member States directly to elect the President of the European Commission. Rome
From 1999 until his appointment as Ambassador, he was one of ten Vice Presidents of the European People’s Party, which brings together the leaderships of 74 European political parties, many of whom are in Government in their countries.
Since 2001 he has spoken on world, the European and Irish economic developments to influential business and political audiences in
New Zealand, South Africa, Chile, Canada, Argentina, Mexico, Peru, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ukraine, Turkey, the and numerous EU Member States. United Arab Emirates
Since taking up his position in
Washington in 2004, John Bruton has met with the President and former Presidents of the United States and visited with governors, mayors, business leaders and students in over 20 US states to explain that the expanding European Union is good for the economy and good for American jobs. In US , Ambassador Bruton has had one-to-one meetings with over 250 Members of Congress to explain major EU developments and discuss the importance of the EU-US relationship in matters of trade, counterterrorism, public health, energy, the environment and the promotion of peace, democracy and human rights around the world. Washington, DC
As Minister for Finance, he began the task of overcoming a major budget deficit crisis for
in 1981 and made proposals to overhaul budgetary procedures to allow long-term planning and a realistic appraisal of the choices facing legislators. Ireland
As Minister for Industry he prepared and had enacted into law the comprehensive industrial development legislation, which underpins Irish growth to this day, and undertook a major overhaul of Irish company law. He resigned his seat effective November 1, 2004 to take up his appointment as EU Commission Head of Delegation in the
. United States