Taoiseach Bertie Ahern will attend the European Council in Brussels today to discuss the EU’s new member states.
The council is expected to debate a report on the union’s capacity to integrate new members and individual applicant countries.
Leaders are to welcome Romania and Bulgaria to the EU as new members with effect from January 1 and are due to adopt conclusions agreed by foreign ministers earlier in the week on the accession negotiations with Turkey and Croatia.
The move could effectively suspend part of the negotiations with Turkey.
Minister for Foreign Affairs Dermot Ahern will also attend the council, which will begin with an exchange of views with the President of the European Parliament, Josep Borrell Fontelles.
The EC will also focus justice, home affairs, energy, innovation and climate change, and conclusions on external relations, notably on the Middle East and Sudan/Darfur.