EU affairs

What has changed?

  • There is no clarification on cabinet appointment for this area. Currently Minister Dara Murphy (FG) has responsibility for EU Affairs and Data Protection (out of Department of the Taoiseach).
  • Much of trade policy remains within the remit of Mary Mitchell O’Connor (FG) within the Department of Jobs Enterprise and innovation.
  • Charlie Flanagan (FG) is remaining as Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade.
  • Digital economy - awaiting clarification. Currently Minister of State, Dara Murphy (FG) has responsibility for EU Affairs and Data Protection (out of Department of the Taoiseach). New Department of Communications - Denis Naughten. Old DCENR portfolio will now include communications and responsibility for energy and the environment, including climate change. New Department of Regional Development - Heather Humphreys will also be assigned responsibility for the rollout of rural broadband.

 Positives for business

  • Ireland will continue to play its role in the European Institutions in “resolving the many external conflicts” impacting the EU.
  • Support expressed for maintaining UK membership of the EU and a pledge to “use appropriate avenues to express the Irish Government perspective on UK membership of the EU.”

 Outstanding issues and missed opportunities

  • Minimal overall reference to European Affairs and Ireland’s place in Europe.
  • Although referring to the “beneficial” nature of the UK maintaining its membership of the EU, there is no further detail, discussion or treatment of Brexit and the significant potential implications.
  • No reference to Single Market completion and the significant untapped economic potential
  • Absence of support or proposals for EU reform.
  • Programme is silent on reducing European regulatory burden and measures to boost competitiveness and growth.


Contact Shane Lyster, EU policy at shane.lyster@ibec.ie 

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