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News & Events

Minister Bruton attends the Competitiveness Council of Ministers meeting in Brussels

20th February 2012

The Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Mr. Richard Bruton T.D., is in Brussels today [Monday] for the Competitiveness Council of Ministers meeting.

The items discussed include the growth and jobs strategy for Europe, EUROPE 2020, which includes measures to improve access to finance for SMEs, as well as measures to tackle disproportionate red tape especially for small companies.

Minister Bruton, in his contribution to the discussions, raised the need to avoid protectionist tendencies in Europe and to accelerate and finalise the Union's negotiations on Free Trade Agreements, especially trade-related agreements with strategic partners such as the EU-US Jobs and Growth Agenda. The Minister emphasised the importance of a fair and open trading system, given Ireland's position as a small open economy needing to attract different forms of investment from global players and to further grow its exports. He also highlighted the need to get the digital single market working in Europe so as to position the EU competitively in global markets.

Minister Bruton also had discussions with his UK counterpart Mr. Norman Lamb M.P. the newly appointed Minister for Employment Relations, Consumer and Postal Affairs, on areas of common concern regarding growth in Europe. Minister Bruton also discussed potential issues arising under the Irish EU Presidency which begins 1 January next year.

Speaking in Brussels Minister Bruton said:

“A key part of the Government’s Action Plan for Jobs is improving supports for Irish businesses so that they can break into new export markets and ultimate create more jobs. There is much that can be done at European level to facilitate this, by improving cooperation on key issues such as credit, red tape and the digital agenda, and by working together to further open international markets to European and Irish exports. I am determined to continue working hard with my European colleagues to make progress on these important issues so as to get jobs and the economy growing again”.

ENDS

For further details please contact:

Conor Quinn, Press Advisor, 087-3743783, conor.quinn@djei.ie.

Press Office, Department of Jobs, Enterprise & Innovation - Ph: 01-6312200; e-mail: press.office@djei.ie

ENDS