The Voice of Irish Business is heard in European Parliament

Oct 14, 2016

Brussels – Belgium, October 13, 2016 — European Parliament of Enterprises (EPE) – 4th edition, held by EUROCHAMBRES in the Hemicycle of the European Parliament — Photo: ©

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.”

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For further information please contact Susan McDermott, Chambers Ireland on 014004319, 086 6081605 or email

Notes to Editors

Photo 1: Andrea Carroll, South Dublin Chamber – speaking on sustainability at the EPE 2016 

Photo 2: Over 700 entrepreneurs gather in European Parliament hemicycle for EPE 2016

Photo credit to ©

Further images available on request, contact:

About the European Parliament of Enterprises

The European Parliament of Enterprises is organised every two years by EUROCHAMBRES, the Association of European Chambers of Commerce and Industry, in cooperation with its network of national Chambers. The concept of the “European Parliament of Enterprises” (EPE) originated from the consideration that there is a democratic gap between the EU institutions and the main actors of economic growth which are the entrepreneurs. For the first time this year, it is organised in cooperation with the European Parliament’s Science and Technology Options Assessment (STOA) Panel, with the two sides working towards an ambitious programme reflecting the common ground between their priorities.

The EPE is composed of the same number of entrepreneurs as the number of MEPs in the European Parliament and follows the same breakdown by country. Thus, 700+ entrepreneurs constituting the members of the EPE gather in the symbolic location of the Hemicycle of the European Parliament. 24 companies from non-EU countries participate as well.

On the day, MEPEs took part in debates on topics of significance to the business community and heard a range of presentations from key EU personnel, including European Parliament Vice-President Antonio Tajani, European Commission Vice-President Jyrki Katainen and Ivan Korcok, State Secretary of Slovakia.. This year, the major topics were trade, internal market, sustainability and skills.  

More information on how the MEPEs voted on matters relating to these topics can be found at: .

About Irish delegation to the EPE 2016

There were fourteen members of Irish delegation to the EPE with Chambers Ireland representatives also in attendance. The representatives were members from chambers of commerce across Ireland including: Galway, South Dublin, Dublin, Limerick, North Kildare, Shannon, Wexford, Fingal and Athlone Chamber.

Chambers Ireland – Ireland’s largest business network creating the best environment for members locally, regionally and nationally.

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