A series of meetings between the European Commission and the Government on the broad legislative programme of Ireland's EU presidency took place in Dublin Castle.

All 27 commissioners assessed the Government's priorities and aspirations over the next six months.

These included a focus on policies that produce jobs and economic growth.

There will also be an emphasis by the Government on boosting the EU's single energy market, as well as plans to nudge the EU closer to trade agreements with the United States and Japan.

The Government also wants to get political agreement by the end of the presidency on reform of the Common Agriculture Policy, as well as making progress on the creation of a banking union.