Membership of the European Union has been an unparalleled economic success story for Ireland. Before joining the old European Economic Community (EEC) in 1973, Ireland’s largely agricultural economy was dependent on the UK market and was relatively poor. Ireland has since transformed itself into a modern outward looking economy – one of the most globalised in the world, where exports have risen from 34% of GDP in 1973 to 140% of GDP in 2023.

Over 80% of Irish laws are derived from the EU so, as the European Parliament elections are the only opportunity for citizens to directly elect representatives to the EU, it is essential that all stakeholders, not least the Irish business community, take these elections seriously. The British Irish Chamber of Commerce which represents the business, economic and trading interests of the UK and Ireland knows more than most the importance of a strong outward looking European Union.

As a smaller Member State that traditionally punches above its weight, it is essential that Ireland send the MEPs who are best equipped to deal with the multitude of challenges facing the Union. To this end, in conjunction with our Members through surveys and submissions, we have derived the following Paper to outline the priorities of the British Irish Chamber of Commerce membership.

 

European Election Priorities Paper