Skip to main content

Watchback Discourse Series | The Future of the EU: Bigger and better?

Watch the recording of this conversation between EU Commissioner Mairead McGuinness (2020-24) and broadcaster Olivia O’Leary MRIA, that took place on 23 May 2024.

We live in turbulent times. The future feels less certain, war has returned to the European continent and the face of democracy is changing. In these troubled times, the European Union is grappling with its place in the world, security and defence, climate ambition and competitiveness. Enlargement is back on the agenda. Can the EU grow beyond 27 member states, how and when? Will the same rules work for a larger EU & as we move towards elections to the European Parliament can the centre hold?

Our speakers:

Mairead McGuinness is the European Commissioner for financial services, financial stability and Capital Markets Union. Before joining the Commission in October 2020, Ms McGuinness was First Vice-President of the European Parliament. She served as an MEP from Ireland for 16 years, and was a Vice-President of the Parliament since 2014.

Olivia O’Leary MRIA is a journalist, broadcaster, public commentator and writer of international standing. Her work praised for its perceptiveness, literary skill and humour makes an exceptional contribution to Irish society. O’Brien Press have published two volumes of her radio columns for RTÉ Drivetime: Politicians and Other Animals, Party Animals. She was elected as a Member of the Royal Irish Academy in 2019.

Royal Irish Academy Discourse Series

Our discourses are the oldest and most renowned series of talks in Ireland. The first discourses were presented in 1786. Historically, Academy discourses were the occasion reserved for the most distinguished academics to first reveal and discuss their research in public. Continuing in this tradition, the Discourse Series brings international experts to the Academy to discuss important contemporary issues in front of a live audience.