National Famine Memorial Day and the European Commission
Below is an Email received from Mr. Liam Aylward. I would be grateful if you could lobby your UN Ambassador to internationally recognise An Gorta Mor.
Michael & Olivia Blanch
Further to our meeting a number of months back please find below the response of the European Commission to the question I submitted on your behalf regarding commemorating the Great Famine. You will note in the response of the Commission that commemorations of this nature are not within the competence of the Commission or EU and are the sole responsibility of the Member State. In this regard I propose to write to the Minister for Foreign Affairs regarding supporting the commemoration the Famine on an international scale.
You will also note that the Commission references two studies that were financed by EU funding on the Irish Famine that may be of interest to you.
I will contact you once I receive further information from the Minister’s office on this proposal.
Liam Aylward MEP
Answer given by Ms Reding on behalf of the Commission
The Commission takes note of the important issue brought forward by the Honourable Member.
There is no legal base at EU level for assistance or support measures on the subject as such. However, the Commission draws the attention of the Honourable Member to the research project within the Seventh Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development (FP7, 2007-2013) “Relocated Remembrance: the Great Famine in Irish (Diaspora) Fiction, 1847-1921″, that investigates how remembrance is mediated through time, from one generation to another, and space, in Diaspora.
It remains in the competence of the Member State to hold a Day of Remembrance to commemorate the Great Famine.