Ministers Bruton and Sherlock chair final Competitiveness Council of Irish Presidency
Reform of auditing and state aid regulations and the Horizon 2020 research investment programme will be among the main agenda items when Minister Richard Bruton and Minister Sean Sherlock chair a meeting of the EU’s Competitiveness Council on Wednesday 29th and Thursday 30th May in Brussels.
Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton TD, will chair Wednesday’s meeting of EU Industry and Internal Market Ministers. Commission Vice President with responsibility for Industry and Entrepreneurship, Antonio Tajani, and Commissioner for Internal Market and Services, Michel Barnier, will also participate.
The agenda includes a number of important initiatives including EU proposals to reform auditing practices and the reform of rules for state aid. Ministers will also review progress on the remaining pieces of Single Market legislation and a number of copyright reform proposals.
Minister Bruton - “The priorities of the Irish Presidency are stability, jobs and growth. At Wednesday’s meeting of Industry Ministers I will be seeking to build on the achievements the Irish Presidency has already secured in the Competitiveness area.”
On Thursday, Minister for Research and Innovation, Sean Sherlock TD, will chair a meeting of EU Research Ministers, with Irish Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science, Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, also attending. Ministers will discuss the Horizon 2020 research investment programme, progress on creating a European Research Area and the EU’s Space Industrial Policy.
Minister Sherlock – “The Irish Presidency has been working hard since January to reach agreement on the Horizon 2020 research investment programme. This work will continue at Thursday’s Research Council.”
Minister Richard Bruton said:
“The priorities of the Irish Presidency are stability, jobs and growth. At Wednesday’s meeting of Industry Ministers I will be seeking to build on the achievements the Irish Presidency has already secured in the Competitiveness area. Securing agreement on the Accounting Directive and the signing of the Unitary Patent Courts Agreement have been important wins so far.
“I look forward to further productive talks on the proposals for reforming the EU’s audit regulations. The reforms are designed to address the shortcomings in the current audit regime which played a part in the global financial crisis. The Irish Presidency has already achieved considerable progress on these proposals. We will be working to achieve consensus on this package of measures before the end of the June.
“Other important areas we’ll be discussing include the reform of rules for state aid, proposals for updating copyright regulations and the progress achieved on the outstanding pieces of regulation for the Single Market Acts I and II. We will also discuss industrial policy within the EU, with a particular focus on increasing manufacturing activity and jobs. Our goal will be to reach the Commission’s goal of increasing manufacturing’s share of total EU GDP from 16% currently to 20% in 2020.”
Minister Sean Sherlock commented:
“The Irish Presidency has been working hard since January to reach agreement on the Horizon 2020 research investment programme. This work will continue at Thursday’s Research Council. With a budget of c. €70bn, the programme has the potential to significantly boost research in the EU, helping to drive economic growth and create jobs.
“Another priority of the Irish Presidency has been the development of the European Research Area. An important part of this is ensuring coordinated public investment in research and innovation across Europe through Joint Programming. In February, we hosted a major conference in Dublin on the lessons from the experience to date of Joint Programming and the way forward. Following on from this, on Thursday I will chair a further discussion, informed by the report of this conference.
“Other areas that we will be discussing include high-performance computing, the enhancement of international scientific collaboration and the EU’s Space Industrial Policy.”