Ibec Electing for Business campaign

May 07, 2024

The elections for the 2024-2029 European Parliament are taking place in a critical period for Ireland and Europe. It is a period of significant adjustment and transition for business and society as new legislation, unprecedented in complexity and scale, enters into force across environmental, digital and social policy, among others. It is a year of political change with 4 billion people, almost half of the world’s population, facing elections in Europe, the USA, Ireland, the UK, India and elsewhere. It is a turbulent period as geopolitical tensions continue and global competition intensifies. It is a period of challenge for employers as significant new EU social and labour market policies are introduced concurrent with a range of new social policies at national level.

The EU is central to our future success, as business and as citizens. The European Parliament elections on 7 June are an opportunity to help shape that future. An opportunity to put strong Irish voices into one of Europe’s key institutions. An opportunity to boost the EU’s benefits for business and citizens in the new political cycle 2024-2029.

How? By putting competitiveness at the forefront. The strength of the European economy and its ability to deliver for its people depends on the success of businesses, large and small. This will determine our ability to grow and prosper, attract investment, provide job opportunities, enhance living standards and generate the resources needed to improve public services and infrastructure. It will also determine our ability to set and implement world-leading regulatory standards.

We set out our vision to deliver this through our Electing for Business campaign. Our vision is for an EU that is focused on its strengths and competitiveness, that leads an inclusive and innovative digital decade, that puts sustainability at the heart of our prosperity, and that is open for trade and investment. Business must ensure its voice is heard at this critical juncture in European politics as populism and protectionism rises. The European Parliament elections are an opportunity to strengthen Ireland’s influence in the EU and to set out a vision for a more competitive, innovative, sustainable and open EU. To avail of this opportunity, Ireland and Irish business must ensure its voice is heard at EU level and Irish citizens must exercise their right to vote in European elections. Never has it been more important to show the strength of democratic action.

Ibec priorities for the Electing for Business campaign:

1. Competition and regulation: Focus on competitiveness

  • Develop a more effective mechanism to track and monitor the impact of the cumulative regulatory and compliance burden on business.
  • Substantially reduce the introduction of new EU legislation to provide an implementation period for recently introduced measures and focus on growth not only compliance.
  • Adopt stronger investment and proactive growth measures to address sustainability and other challenges and ensure that EU industrial policy supports a broad range of sectors.

2. Single Market: Unlock potential for capital and digital to support innovation

  • Develop a new Single Market strategy which underpins fair competition and supports pro growth policies of open small member state economies.
  • Accelerate the introduction of the Capital Markets Union and maximise the potential of digital and AI to support innovation.
  • Review existing EU State Aid rules to ensure that a level playing field exists across the Single Market and adopt a broader EU level approach to strategic investment priorities.

3. EU social policy and the Labour Market: Concentrate on EU added value

  • Ensure that social and labour market policies are not undermining the global competitiveness of EU business.
  • Fully reflect the individual Member State industrial relations models in the development of any new social or labour market policies.
  • Place greater emphasis on labour market policies such as upskilling and training which will enhance the overall competitiveness of the EU.

4. Geopolitics, trade and investment: Renew commitment to openness

  • Advance an ambitious trade policy, safeguarding an open and competitive business environment to drive EU competitiveness.
  • Foster closer relations, strategic partnerships, and common standards with key trading partners such as the US and the UK to raise global standards and underpin shared prosperity objectives.
  • Work with trading partners to address tariff and non-tariff trade barriers and seek to advance the full potential of EU goods and services trade, including digital.

As part of Ibec’s Electing for Business campaign, members are invited to attend our events with MEP candidates across the country in May. The events will provide an opportunity to hear from MEP candidates on what their priorities will be if elected and to highlight Irish business issues for the next European Parliament. Further details will follow shortly, in the meantime please confirm your attendance at any of the events by registering via the below links:

  • Wednesday 8th May at 12:00-14:00: Ireland South (Cork) – Ibec Cork Office. Register here
  • Tuesday 14th May at 12:00-14:00: Dublin - Ibec Dublin Office. Register here
  • Wednesday 15th May at 12:00-14:00: Midlands-North-West (Galway) – Galmont Hotel. Register here

Róisín de Bhaldraithe
EU Policy Executive, Ibec