Europe and Brexit

2015 poses new challenges

Brian HAYES - 8th Parliamentary term MEPs Brian Hayes (Fine Gael) and Lynn Boylan (Sinn Féin) have discussed the challenges facing the European Commission in the coming year with eolas.

Looking ahead, Hayes contended: “The Commission has set out an ambitious work programme for 2015 which rightly focuses on growth and jobs.” He maintained that Jean-Claude Juncker’s €315 billion investment plan, aimed at developing public and private investment, places “a responsibility on all member states to bring good projects forward.” He continued: “Ireland must exert its influence on this plan and the Government needs to bring to the table sustainable and workable projects which can translate into jobs and growth for the economy.”

Hayes suggested that the Commission should focus its efforts in coming year upon a capital markets union which could “play a role in the provision of long-term, sustainable and growth-enhancing finance in our future.” Similarly, he emphasised the need to prioritise the completion of a European energy union in order to increase competitiveness and interconnectedness.

IMG_4261 However, Lynn Boylan stated: “President Juncker’s priorities indicate that he will push the corporate agenda ahead of the social and environmental one.”

Boylan is deeply critical of the merging of energy and climate into a single portfolio under the auspices of Commissioner Miguel Aria Cañete, a former oil executive. Furthermore, she highlighted the Commission’s placement of a sunset clause upon the Maternity Leave Directive – the law would guarantee women 20 weeks of maternity leave and job security upon their return to work.

At the same time, Boylan remarked: “On a positive note, the frontloading of €1 billion towards the youth unemployment initiative is to be welcomed as young Europeans have borne the brunt of a financial crisis not of their making.”

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