Chambers Ireland and a delegation of representatives of the Irish business community participated in the European Parliament of Enterprises in Brussels yesterday (13/10/16).
The European Parliament of Enterprises allows business people from all over Europe to become Members of the European Parliament of Enterprises (MEPEs) for one day and gain unique insights into how one of the most powerful bodies in Europe goes about their decision making process. The delegation of representatives from the Irish business community participated in the debates and votes held throughout the day on trade, the single market, sustainability and skills.
In his opening address, Richard Weber, Chairman of Eurochambres said, “The time has come for businesses to reiterate their capacity and willingness to provide solutions to the challenges of today: globalisation, unemployment, unfair competition, migration and climate change.”
Speaking following the event, Ian Talbot, Chief Executive, Chambers Ireland said “The European Parliament of Enterprises gives SMEs a unique opportunity to experience firsthand how important decisions are made at the highest level and raise any concerns they may have. It is clear from the results of the votes that trade matters for ordinary business across the EU, with 94% of MEPEs voting in support of an effective EU trade policy and 95% feel SMEs should have a stronger say in such trade policy. These results show just how important trade is to business and agreements such as TTIP and CETA are vital for Europe to remain competitive globally. It is particularly worrying that two thirds of the entrepreneurs in attendance from across Europe expressed concern that Brexit would harm their business. It is important in this period of uncertainty that the EU listen to the voice of business and work to create a more business friendly policy environment.
Irish businessman Eoin Barry, ARV Excellence and MEPE representing Galway Chamber said, “It’s great to have been a part of the Irish delegation to the EPE 2016. The EU, specifically, the Single Market, is a great place to do business and the people in it are intent on making it better. The chambers of commerce play an important role in informing that positive change and Chambers Ireland is really playing its part.”
Speaking during the debate on sustainability, Irish MEPE Andrea Carroll, South Dublin Chamber said, “Sustainability is not just about green issues but applies to all businesses, who need to consider the economic, social and environmental sustainability of their business. The EU must acknowledge that there are limits to growth in our society and use initiatives such as the circular economy package to lead on this issue without creating a significant regulatory or administrative burden for SMEs.”