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Ministers Bruton and Sherlock to chair Competitiveness Council debates on the Single Market, entrepreneurship and research

18.02.2013, 08:15 GMT


Ministers Richard Bruton and Sean Sherlock will chair a two-day meeting of the Competitiveness Council that will see EU Ministers for Industry and Research discuss a range of important issues including Single Market legislation, the Entrepreneurship 2020 Action Plan and “smart specialisation” in research.

The Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton TD, and Minister for Research and Innovation, Sean Sherlock TD, will chair the first meeting of the Competitiveness Council during Ireland’s Presidency on Monday 18th and Tuesday 19th February in Brussels.

Minister for Research and Innovation, Sean Sherlock TD, will chair the first meeting of Europe’s Research Ministers under Ireland’s EU Presidency today, Monday 18th February. During the meeting, Ministers for Research and Innovation from other Member States will receive a presentation on Ireland’s strategic decision to prioritise research in a focused number of areas to improve research and innovation outputs. The Ministers will also debate the best way of facilitating better access to scientific information within the European Research Area.    

Minister Richard Bruton - “The priorities of the Irish Presidency are stability, jobs and growth. The areas that the Competitiveness Council will be discussing, including the Single Market, entrepreneurship and smart research, will have a major impact on this agenda.”

The Council will focus on a number of important areas designed to increase innovation within the EU.  Among these will be consideration of how best to facilitate economic growth in Europe through improved support for research. 

Minister Bruton will chair Tuesday's Competitiveness Council meeting of EU Industry and Internal Market Ministers. In a first for the Council, it will discuss a report on the integration of the Single Market. This marks a notable increase in the Competitiveness Council’s role in monitoring and advising in this important area. Ministers will review progress in implementing Single Market legislation and in driving new growth-enhancing measures.

During the Council, Ministers will also debate a number of important issues including the European Commission’s “Entrepreneurship 2020 Action Plan”, the State Aid Modernisation proposals and the Annual Growth Survey for 2013.

Minister Richard Bruton said: “The priorities of the Irish Presidency are stability, jobs and growth. The areas that the Competitiveness Council will be discussing, including the Single Market, entrepreneurship and smart research, will have a major impact on this agenda.”

“We will also be debating the Annual Growth Survey for 2013 and the issues around ensuring that Member States align their budgetary and economic policies with the Stability and Growth Pact and the Europe 2020 strategy. It is important that there is this common understanding about the priorities for action at the national and EU level to assist sustainable growth and job creation.

“I will also be emphasising the importance of external competitiveness and the EU’s ambitious external trade agenda as drivers of growth, investment and job creation.”

Minister Sean Sherlock commented: “I look forward to a productive discussion with my fellow Research Ministers on the EU’s Annual Growth Survey for 2013, specifically as it applies to the research area.  Just like last year, the context of the Annual Growth Survey for this year was set by the economic crisis. As far as research and innovation performance is concerned, enhanced economic policy coordination at European level plays a very important role. We will be considering how research budgets can contribute to fuelling European growth, stabilising the economic and financial situation and spurring structural reforms.”

The Council will also discuss the problems currently being faced by the European steel industry. Belgium and other concerned Member States will lead a debate around policy responses to the issues faced by the steel sector including a focus on research and innovation, trade policy, employment and skills and energy and climate change factors.

 

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Contacts

Cian Connaughton, Press - Irish Presidency of the Council of the EU

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Róisín McCann, Press Officer

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