How will the European Elections impact me?

On 24 May, elections to the European Parliament were held all around the country.

A total of 751  MEPs currently represent some 500 million people from 28 Member States. Ireland currently has 11 MEPs representing Irish citizens cities and regions.

At an individual level, MEPs pass laws that affect many aspects of our lives, for example:

  • How many hours employees throughout the EU can be required to work and how much rest and holiday they must be given;
  • Which pesticides are safe to use on the food grown in the EU;
  • Cleaning up the air we breathe and the water we drink and swim in;
  • Receiving health care in another EU country either on holiday or when the queue is too long in your own country;
  • Making it easier to study at university in another EU country

At a regional level:

  • A key priority of the MEPs through the EU budget is to support SMEs in innovating. For example, Episcan, based in Sligo, recived funding of €500,000 from the EU’s research programme, Horizon 2020, for a project on scanning technology;
  • More than €8.5 million is allocated to Co Cavan in the framework of the current LEADER rural development initiative. Previous funding recipients include the Market House in Blacklion, which received over €90,000 to refurbish and extend and the Virginia Show Centre, which benefitted from €500,000 funding for redevelopment;
  • Funding of €6.3 million from the EU regional development budget supported the redevelopment of Lough Key Forest and Leisure Park, one of the biggest tourist attractions in the county.

For more information about what Europe does for you, go to the European Parliament’s What Europe does for me page.

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