South Dublin Chamber - the leading business representative body serving the business community in South Dublin County since 1984

During November 2017 (7th-8th), a delegation of representatives from across the Chamber network in Ireland made a two day trip to Brussels meet with representatives on issues affecting Irish business, and to learn more about the work being done there that affect us. Andrea Carroll, Sustainable Business Programme Manager, attended to represent South Dublin. 

During the 2 day trip, the delegation met with a number of high profile EU representatives including:

  • The Deputy Head of the Directorate General for Trade, to discuss trade relations between EU countries and others, and highlight the challenges faced by Irish businesses in international trade.
  • Deputy Head of the Task Force on Article 50 (Brexit), to discuss the current state of negotations and highlight the issues facing Ireland. The network were very reassured by the EU representatives working on this issue and their understanding of the unique situation faced by Ireland.
  • Head of the Unit on Start Ups and Innovation of Directorate General Connect, to discuss the Digital Single Market, challenges Irish SMEs face and how they can benefit from this.

The network also met with the Irish Ambassador to the EU – Declan Kelleher about their work in Brussels and with the EU and to discuss matters of concern to the Irish Chamber Network including the Future of Europe, Brexit negotiations, CCTB etc.

This was just day one. Early on the morning of the second day, the network delegation were hosted by MEP Sean Kelly for breakfast at the European Parliament, to meet with a group of Irish MEPs at, including:

  • Brian Hayes MEP
  • Deirdre Clune MEP
  • Mairead McGuinness MEP
  • Marian Harkin MEP
  • Matt Carthy MEP                                                                                                                                                

Each of the MEPs outlined their current working priorities and committee agendas, and listened to the thoughts of the network representatives on the challenges faced by Irish business – including Brexit and accessing to EU Funding (Horizon 2020, CapEx etc). Interestingly, Ireland may gain 2 new seats to the European Parliament following the UKs exit from the EU.

Following this networking breakfast, the delegation then met with Brussels and EU representatives of Enterprise Ireland to hear about the supports EI has for entrepreneurs and to hear about EI’s Brexit strategy, followed up with a roundtable discussion with Chamber Representatives from European Chambers and the Eurochambres network. During this discussion the conversation focussed on collaboration and export, advancing the single market, Brexit and the UK.

This was an excellent opportunity for Ms Carroll to bring the challenges facing Irish and South Dublin business to the relevant representatives in the EU as well as learning more about how we can benefit by further participation in the European Union. We would encourage any Chamber members to participate in this trip in 2018. 

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