Ibec Europe & Global Focus

Welcome to the 18th edition of Ibec Europe & Global Focus, our publication on the major issues impacting business at an EU and international level.  

As we publish our winter edition of Ibec Europe & Global Focus, governments in Ireland and the EU have introduced temporary working from home advice and measures restricting access to certain sectors to combat a winter wave of cases. We look forward to 2022 and the beginning of spring, when measures to control the spread of the virus as well as the third dose campaign of COVID-19 vaccines in Ireland and Europe will hopefully bring cases down to lower levels and business and society can resume greater activity.  

In our General EU Affairs section, we review European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen’s State of the Union address and 2022 Work Programme which includes a European Chips Act to support the digital transition and measures in support of the Fitfor55 and Sustainable Finance packages including on pollution, carbon removal, plastics, and the circular economy.  

We outline how Ibec is a leading voice on climate, with Danny McCoy’s recent Presidential address on sustainability as President of the Statistical & Social Inquiry Society of Ireland, Ibec’s Neil Walker’s advocacy at the UN Climate Change conference COP26 and the sustainability focus of Ibec President Frank Gleeson (Aramark) and Ibec Deputy President Imelda Hurley (Coillte).  

We examine the key issues impacting trade with the US, the UK, supply chains and the WTO. We review the recent EU-US Agreement on Steel and Aluminium tariffs. On supply chains, we share common challenges faced by businesses.  On the WTO, we detail the postponed Ministerial Conference and priorities of business.  

In this issue, in collaboration with the Colombian Embassy in Ireland, we profile Ireland-Colombia trade relations and the mutually beneficial relationship between business in both our countries, enhanced by free trade agreements (FTAs).   

In our policy desks section, we hear how Ireland must step up preparations for ratification of the Unified Patent Court, which would facilitate Irish-based companies involved in patenting and present enterprise opportunities for Ireland.  

Finally in this edition we put the spotlight on our EU affairs and trade advocacy including our recent EU Affairs & Trade Policy committee where we engaged with Maeve Collins, Director General, EU Division, Department of Foreign Affairs and our attendance at BusinessEurope’s Council of Presidents in Paris. We also highlight our work at Business at the OECD, with the launch of ‘Building Back Better Trade: Business priorities for OECD work on trade in the post-COVID scenario’. We also review Ibec Gobal events on ‘Cybersecurity: The Transatlantic Reboot’ and gender-smart investing. 

Please contact our EU & International Affairs team in Brussels or Dublin if you wish to further discuss any of the items covered.  

Ibec Europe - Global Focus Winter 2021 pdf | 3336.9 kb