Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister for Defence, Ireland
Simon Coveney T.D. is the Minister for Foreign Affairs and the Minister for Defence. He is also the Deputy Leader of Fine Gael and served as Tánaiste (Deputy Prime Minister) and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade with responsibility for Brexit from November 2017 to June 2020. He has served as Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government (2016-2017), Minister for Defence (2014-2016) and Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (2011-2016).
First elected to the Dáil (Irish Parliament) in 1998, he was elected to the European Parliament in 2004 where he was a member of the EPP-ED group. He was a member of the EP Foreign Affairs Committee and the Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee and a substitute member on the Fisheries Committee. Mr. Coveney was the author of the European Parliament's Annual Report on Human Rights in the World for the year 2004 and again for 2006. He was a member of Cork County Council and the Southern Health Board from 1999 to 2003.
Mr. Coveney holds a B.Sc. in Agriculture and Land Management from The Royal Agriculture College, Gloucestershire. He was also educated at Clongowes Wood College, County Kildare; University College Cork and Gurteen Agricultural College, County Tipperary. In 1997/8 he led the "Sail Chernobyl Project" which involved sailing 30,000 miles around the world for charity.
To mark the Freedom Online Coalition’s (FOC) 10th anniversary, Finland, as the Chair, is organising a virtual FOC 10th Anniversary Ministerial Meeting on 3 December 2021, hosted by Pekka Haavisto, the Finnish Minister for Foreign Affairs. The Ministerial, the culmination of Finland’s FOC Chairship, is an important opportunity to raise the visibility of the Coalition and to set the FOC's goals and vision for the 2020s.