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Irish People in the EU

There are Irish people working throughout every level of the European Union, in addition to those working in the Irish Representations of the Commission and the Parliament.

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Hugh McBryan
Programme Officer, Industrial Technologies, Research Directorate General

Originally from Dublin.

About your job: Basically, we give out money to people who want to do research which could be useful for European industry. First, we agree on the most critical research needs with the Member States and with the industrial research community. We publish 'calls for proposals' to meet those needs. Then, we select the very best proposals for funding and we follow their progress. I currently focus on ensuring that proposals which we fund are selected in the fairest and most open way.

Why the EU? I first moved to the EU Institutions as a Power Supplies Engineer working on the European Fusion experiment, JET, in Oxfordshire. JET was a very exciting, technically challenging and successful project. However, like most research projects, it was temporary. So, after 8 years, I moved to DG Research in Brussels.

How do you think Ireland has benefited most from the EU? Financially, obviously. More importantly, how has Europe benefited most from Ireland? I think the Irish have always been natural Europeans. As such, we blend very easily into the Institutions and into most European cultures. We are well known for punching way beyond our weight. That image ultimately benefits all of us.

Based: Brussels

Languages: English is the recognised language of research but I speak French as well. I can also get by in German, Irish and Italian. I learned French at school but it was only when I began to use it here in Brussels that I developed any significant competence.

Books/Music: Book: Hermitage by Mervyn Wall. A very enjoyable perspective on life as a public servant.

Music: Instant Sunshine Comes of Age. I've always enjoyed singing and it's obvious that these guys do too.