Corporation tax reform, subsidy wars, climate action targets, energy prices and global trade among the big issues identified in a new report by Rockwood Public Affairs

Rockwood Public Affairs, who have offices in Dublin and Brussels, have today (Monday 13 May) published a new report titled ‘Europe 2024-2029: Big issues for Irish business’.

The report was launched in Dublin by Minister of State with responsibility for Financial Services, Credit Unions & Insurance, Neale Richmond TD; Barry Andrews, (Renew / Fianna Fáil) MEP for Dublin; and Lorraine Higgins, Managing-Director of Rockwood Public Affairs.

The report sets-out a range of business-relevant issues which will likely dominate the agenda of the next European Parliament and European Commission; as well as potentially contentious EU issues which the Irish Government will have to adopt positions on. The report discusses how the outcome of the upcoming European Elections may greatly influence some these issues.

The report identifies some of the big questions which Irish businesses will be asking ahead of the  European Elections and the appointment of new European Commission:

  • How will the EU reduce the administrative burden on business as called for in the recent report by former Italian Prime minister Enrico Letta?
  • What will the EU do to further reduce energy costs for business – which are still higher than they were before the Russian invasion of Ukraine?
  • How can the EU protect exports to China and the United States (particularly in the context of the possible re-election of Donald Trump as President of the US)
  • Will proposals for a Capital Markets Union finally begin making progress and will this lead to Irish businesses gaining greater access to finance in other EU states?
  • Will climate action continue to be prioritised at EU level; and will the EU stick with its existing target for carbon reductions and the phasing out of fossil fuel-powered vehicles?

The report also identifies questions for the Irish Government on potentially contentious issues on the EU agenda:

  • Will the Irish government stand firm against fresh attempts to reform EU decision-making which could threaten Ireland’s veto over EU corporate tax policy?
  • How will the Irish government protect Ireland from losing out to bigger EU states if the ongoing relaxation of state aid rules leads to a damaging subsidy war?

Speaking at the launch of the report, Managing-Director of Rockwood Public Affairs, Lorraine Higgins, stated: “More than ever before, the future of Irish business is being shaped by decisions made in Brussels. With reform of the single market and Europe’s eroding competitiveness now dominating EU leader summits, it is clear that the priorities and policy agendas of the next European Commission and the next European Parliament will have significant implications for businesses in Ireland. These priorities will be shaped by the results of the upcoming European elections, and they will be impacted by the positions that member states adopt, particularly on more contentious issues. Knowing what may be coming down the line in Brussels is critical for business planning. Rockwood’s report analyses the big issues that Irish business should be watching out for on the emerging EU agenda.”

Neale Richmond TD, Minister of State with responsibility for Financial Services, Credit Unions & Insurance stated: “Access to finance, energy costs, climate action and exports are all crucial issues facing businesses in Ireland, but also across the European Union. Just last week, I was in Frankfurt where I visited the European Central Bank where the Letta report and the Capital Markets Union were at the fore of our discussions, ensuring that Irish businesses can access finance and stay competitive, particularly our SMEs. In a time of increasing uncertainty, with war returned to the European continent and businesses across the world paying the price, Irish businesspeople and entrepreneurs must be aware of these issues in advance of June’s European Elections, to ensure that they are electing MEPs who back business and will represent their interests.”

Barry Andrews, MEP for Dublin, stated: “With 80% of our laws now coming from Europe, the decisions made at EU level have an enormous impact on Irish businesses.  They effect our regulatory framework, business operating costs, competitiveness, the employment market and general business and customer sentiment. 

“Over the past five years, Irish businesses have experienced a series of unexpected shocks arising from the Covid 19 Pandemic, the war on Ukraine and the cost-of-living crisis.  Changes to the Single Market, and to other areas such as the Capital Markets Union, will bring both huge opportunities and challenges for Irish businesses.  We need to be ready to capitalise on these opportunities.  This means maintaining and strengthening Ireland’s strong, active and positive voice at the decision-making table in Europe.  It means proactively increasing Europe’s competitiveness and going after new industries that will secure our energy supply and create high quality jobs in Dublin.”


Comments are closed