Chambers Ireland launches European Election Manifesto

Chambers Ireland, the voice of business in Ireland, has today (Monday 5 February) launched the Chambers Ireland Manifesto for Europe.

We are calling on all the Irish candidates for the EU elections to heed the needs of businesses after a series of difficult years for the business community.

We want the parliament and commission’s mandate for the next five years to focus on actions that will deliver on sustainability and productivity.

After five years which have seen businesses reacting to Brexit, Covid, inflation, energy shocks, the Russian invasion of Ukraine and successive supply shocks, Chambers Ireland are calling on the institutions of the EU to concentrate their activities on actions that will deliver tangible results.

The last five years have seen a rapid uptick in both the amount of EU legislation that is being delivered and the pace at which this is being delivered. One effect of this has been a reduction in the efforts to understand the impact of policies. This has two consequences: Firstly, SMEs are getting ever more entangled in regulations, and secondly huge efforts are being put into policies which only have marginal benefits when they are finally delivered.

Chambers Ireland calls on the next EU parliament to focus on:

  • A strategic, continental level, energy and industrial policy for Europe that can activate the untapped energy resources off Ireland’s coasts,
  • More supports to help small firms engage in trade within the Single Market, and
  • A stronger focus on delivering effective policies which do not circumvent the impact-assessment processes, particularly for SMEs.

Speaking today (Monday 5 February) Chambers Ireland’s Chief Executive, Ian Talbot said:

“Ireland is almost unique within the EU, our country is going to be one of the greatest beneficiaries of the Green Transition. Ireland will not only become energy self-sufficient, we will become a vital part of the wider EU energy system. But this will require investments at a level that we are not institutionally prepared for, and we will need EU knowledge and assistance if we are to deliver for the other 26 member states.

“Effective policies are what matter to our members. Everyone understands the necessity of delivering on the big issues like sustainability, but our members are having to respond to policies like the potential late-payments directive which is a solution to a non-problem and will increase costs for many businesses, such as the retail sector.

“Most of the growth in our exports over recent years has been within the single market. SMEs, and Irish businesses in general, need more help if they are to begin trading with other EU members. Britain and the EU are the places that are easiest for Irish firms to begin exporting to. The current practice of centering trade supports on Free-Trade Agreements excludes almost all of those SMEs that have not yet begun to export.

“Europe and Ireland need an integrated Banking union and capital market so that businesses can finance the investments that they need to become more sustainable and to improve their businesses through digitisation.

“Ireland is poised to benefit from both the Green transition and the Digital transition, we need out candidates to the EU parliament to put our national interests first and ensure that these programmes of action deliver for all of us in Ireland.”

 – ENDS –

Full Manifesto:

Available on Chambers Ireland’s website here.

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