24th July 2023
Minister of State for Trade Promotion, Digital and Company Regulation Dara Calleary TD is joining his fellow ministers with responsibility for consumer affairs at today’s informal meeting of competitiveness ministers (consumer affairs and industry) in Bilbao. The Spanish Presidency will be represented by Alberto Garzón, Minister of Consumer Affairs. The EU Commission will be represented by Commissioner Didier Reynders.
The topics for debate will be the role of consumers in the green transition and an appraisal of the New Consumer Agenda.
Ahead of the meeting, Minister Calleary said; “I am looking forward to a constructive discussion on developments in consumer protection legislation in recent years. The Consumer Rights Act 2022 and the Representative Actions for the Protection of the Collective Interests of Consumers Act 2023 are recent examples of progress in consumer rights in Ireland. As part of our meeting today will be a focus on how we can promote the objectives of the Green Deal particularly as we want consumers to play a more active role in the circular economy and indeed the green transition more broadly.”
The Minister will also engage in dialogue on sustainable consumption. On this, Minister Calleary noted that, "many consumers are motivated to make sustainable choices, but if we want this to be effective it must be the easy choice. Accurate verifiable information regarding the sustainability of a product is crucial.”
On Tuesday, Minister Callleary will join his fellow ministers with responsibility for the internal market and industry. The Spanish Presidency will be represented by José Manuel Albares, Minister for Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation, and Héctor Gómez, Minister for Industry, Trade and Tourism. The Commission will be represented by Commissioner Didier Reynders.
The main agenda item will be a discussion on Open Strategic Autonomy as a cornerstone of the EU. In welcoming the opportunity to engage on this topic, Minister Calleary acknowledged, “the importance of this issue for the EU and the need to focus on the solutions that that face us, in Europe and indeed globally.”
Ireland supports the EU’s ability to respond to distortive and disruptive trade practices in a proportionate manner, with Minister Calleary stressing the need for the EU “to remain open, competitive and innovative to enable EU firms export their goods freely and compete fairly with the rest of the world.”
Ministers will also consider the flexibility of state aid rules, the completion of the single market as a response to external challenges, policy measures to support the EU economy and will consider how to develop a strategy on protecting the economic security of the Union.
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