This weeks society of the week is the French Society
Article written by, auditor Sam Hynes, on the recent visit of the French Ambassador to UCD.
On November the 16th, the UCD French society proudly hosted the French Ambassador to Ireland for a talk. His Excellency, Monsieur Stephane Crouzat came to speak to UCD students about Brexit and how it will change the dynamic of the relationship between Ireland and France.
President of the French Society, Sam Hynes, welcomed the Ambassador who shared the society’s view that a stronger partnership with France could reduce the potentially catastrophic effects of Brexit on the Irish economy.
His excellency affirmed that Ireland and France would have a renewed relationship in the coming years. He spoke of new trade links including the planned construction of an underwater electricity cable, allowing Ireland to import its power into France, mutually benefiting both economies. He also discussed the recent meeting between Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and President Macron. Both leaders agree upon the importance of improving the European language speaking abilities of our youth. The Ambassador did however stress that there is a major conflict of interest between both Varadkar and Macron regarding domestic tax policy, with France showing noticeable dissatisfaction regarding Ireland’s low corporate tax rate of 12.5%.
After His Excellency spoke, he was joined by a Q&A panel alongside UCD Academics from left to right; Dr. Douglas Smith from the French Department, Dr. Oana Peia from the economics department and Dr. Andreas Hoepner from the business department.
The proceeding 30-minute Q&A was dominated by questions relating to Ireland and how to best deal with Brexit. One of the memorable moments came about as His Excellency responded to a question regarding the withdrawal of the United States from the Paris Climate Accord, by remarking that “Donald Trump is not America” and that Washington can prevent the President’s views from becoming national policy at every stage.
Overall the event was a success for all involved with His Excellency receiving the acclaimed UCD scarf as a parting gift on behalf of the French Society.
Guest written by Samuel Hynes, French Society Auditor