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Leaving Cert Business

Ireland and the


European Union

WHAT IS THE EUROPEAN


UNION
An international trading bloc and
political alliance of European nations
designed to promote closer political,
economic and social co-operation
among its member countries

How are EU policies and laws


made?
These are made as a result of decisions
taken by the EUs institutional triangle
composed of:
The EU commission
The Council of the European Union
The EU Parliament

ts take a look at these in more deta

The EU Commission
The institution responsible for the day-to-day
management of the European Union
Functions of the EU Commission:
Proposing new laws
Implementing new laws and policies
Managing in the EU budget

COMMISSIONERS
The senior managers who are appointed by national
governments to run the European Union

THE COUNCIL OF THE EUROPEAN UNION


EUs most important decision-making body and is made
up of representatives from each member state
government
Main functions of the council:
Set goals and plans for the EU
Approves the budget for the EU together with the
European Parliament
Approves laws

THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT


Directly elected by EU citizens to act as a supervisory
watchdog over all aspects of the EUs activities
Made up of 700 MEPs
Members are elected EU-wide every 5 years

THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT


Main functions of the European Parliament
Represents the views of people of the EU
Legislates on new policies and laws proposed by the
commission
Supervises the running of the EU such as funding and
spending activities and interviewing candidates for the
jobs as EU commissioners

THE COURT OF AUDITORS


Responsible for ensuring that the EU budget is spent
efficiently and for the purpose intended

THE EUROPEAN COURT OF JUSTICE


Responsible for ensuring that EU laws are applied
correctly in all EU countries

EUROPEAN CENTRAL BANK


Central bank for all countries that have adopted the
euro as their common currency
Located : Frankfurt, Germany
Keeps inflation low and safeguards the value of the
euro

HOW ARE NEW LAWS INTRODUCED?


FIIVE STAGES INVOLVED:
1. Proposal by the commission
2. Consultation with the EU Parliament and relevant
stakeholder groups
3. Redrafting by the Commission
4. Approval by the council
5. Implementation by the Commission and national
givernments

EU REGULATIONS
Legally binding decisions that become effective in law
immediately in all EU states and take precedence over
national laws

EU DIRECTIVES
Set out a goal to be achieved by member states and a
deadline for its achievement
Each country is free to decide hoe best to achieve the
goal

EU DECISIONS
Only binding on specifically named countries,
companies or organisations

INTEREST GROUPS
Try to influence UE decision-making
Methods used to influence decisions:
Lobbying the key decision makers
Setting up an office in Brussels or Strasbourg makes
lobbying faster
Using public relations
Protests and public demonstrations

SINGLE EUROPEAN MARKET (SEM)


A policy to remove barriers to the free movement of goods,
services, people and capital between member states
Benefits:
Creation of a huge market
Free movement of goods, capital and labour
Tax harmonisation
Protectionism for EU firms
Foreign direct investment

SINGLE EUROPEAN MARKET (SEM)


Drawbacks of the SEM for businesses
Public procurement
Greater competition

EUROPEAN MONETARY UNION (EMU)


The introduction of the euro as a common currency for
EU members

EUROZONE
The name given to those EU countries that have
replaced their national currencies with the euro
currency

BENEFITS OF THE EMU


International payments
Increased trade within the Eurozone has been
stimulated
Low inflation
Foreign direct investment
Price comparisons
International travel
More stable economic environment for businesses

DRAWBACKS OF THE EMU FOR BUSINESS


Irelands biggest export customers, the UK and USA,
are not in the Eurozone
UK is now leaving EU BREXIT

EU SOCIAL POLICY
Intended to improve and harmonise working
conditions and consumer rights throughout the EU

EU SOCIAL FUND
Provides funding to train and retain workers and
increase their adaptability to change

COMMON AGRICULTURE POLICY (CAP)


Designed to make the EU self-sufficient in food and
maintain the incomes of farmers and rural
communities

EU ENVIRONMENT POLICY
Aims to ensure that economic development within the
Union is ecologically sustainable and is not at the
expense of the quality of Europes environment

EU STRUCTURAL POLICIES
Are designed to improve the competitiveness and
wealth of the EUs poorer regions and vulnerable
industries
Provided to countries mainly through the European
Regional Development Fund and European Social Fund
and the European Cohesion Fund

EU COMPETITION POLICY
Sets out rules designed to ensure free and fair
competition between firms in the Single European
Market

BENEFITS OF EU MEMBERSHIP TO IRELAND


BUSINESSES
Access to a large and wealthy market
Single European Market rules mean costs involves previously
in international trade are reduced
EU grants and to industry have helped businesses grow
Irish agriculture receives large amounts of financial support
through CAP Common Agriculture Policy

BENEFITS OF EU MEMBERSHIP TO IRELAND


EMPLOYEES
Membership has encouraged many TNCs to invest in
Ireland by setting up EU operations here this has
created jobs for Ireland
EU social policy has enhanced employees legal rights

BENEFITS OF EU MEMBERSHIP TO IRELAND


CONSUMERS
Consumers benefit from being able to use the same
currency when travelling in many EU countries
EU directives have resulted in strong consumer
protection legislation being introduced

BENEFITS OF EU MEMBERSHIP TO IRELAND


ECONOMY AND ENVIRONMENT
EU funds help pay for investment in roads and public transport infrastructure
Irish government has to follow more responsible taxation and spending
policies
Irish economy has benefited from billions of euro in CAP and structural funds
over the past few decades
EU policies have forced Irish businesses and government to be much more
environmentally responsible

WHAT CHALLENGES FACE IRELAND


AND THE EU IN THE FUTURE?
SPECIFIC ISSUES FACNING IRELAND
Ireland needs to take greater advantage of the Eurozone
Ireland needs to conform with EU rules regarding proper
management of the economy
Net contribution to the EU Budget It will soon pay more
than it receives back
Increased competition for investment

WHAT CHALLENGES FACE IRELAND AND


THE EU IN THE FUTURE?
ISSUES FACING THE ENTIRE EU
Protecting the stability of the euro currency
Tax harmonisation having the same rates of taxation in all EU countries
Institutional reform
Budget reform
Tackling climate change