Social rights and entrepreneurial rights must go hand in hand


Chambers Ireland as a member of EUROCHAMBRES, the Network of European Chambers, has endorsed a proposal for a European Pillar of Entrepreneurial Rights, challenging the Commission and other policy makers to match the forthcoming Pillar of Social Rights initiative with the parallel pursuit of a more business-friendly climate.


“Entrepreneurs don’t usually talk in terms of rights, but we are hearing more and more about social rights,” said Arnaldo Abruzzini, EUROCHAMBRES’ CEO. “Entrepreneurs are entitled to favourable conditions in order to fulfil their role as the creators of jobs, growth, opportunities and prosperity. The European Pillar of Social Rights cannot meet its ‘social triple A’ objective unless there is a healthy business environment.”


Ian Talbot, Chief Executive Chambers Ireland said, “We support the proposal for a European Pillar of Entrepreneurial Rights and believe it will help support and foster a culture of entrepreneurship in Ireland. The Pillar should encompass the key policy elements that need to be defined at EU level and rigorously pursued and implemented across the member states to make Europe an attractive place to create, develop and run a business. These include notably a fully functioning single market, favourable trading conditions, viable financing solutions, an adequately skilled and flexible workforce and affordable energy and natural resources.”


A delegation of 14 Irish business representatives from the Irish Chamber Network recently participated in the European Parliament of Enterprises (EPE) on 13th October. The voting results from the EPE indicated a clear sense among the participating entrepreneurs that policy makers must do much better in helping businesses across various sectors to put Europe on a sustainable growth trajectory.


The European Pillar of Entrepreneurial Rights would reinforce the objectives of recent Commission packages such as the Capital Markets Union, the Digital Single Market, Upgrading the Single Market, Trade for All, Energy Union and the New Skills Agenda. It would also provide momentum to the European Semester process and should be integrated into the yearly cycle of economic monitoring. “None of the elements we propose are in themselves revolutionary, but they need to be delivered in a full, effective and coherent manner across the EU to the benefit of its 20 million+ businesses,” concluded Mr Abruzzini.


The European Pillar of Entrepreneurial Rights proposal was adopted by the EUROCHAMBRES Plenary Assembly and will now be presented to the European Commission.

Budget Breakfast with PricewaterhouseCoopers


Budget Breakfast 1


Waterford Chamber in association with PricewaterhouseCoopers hosted a Breakfast Briefing outlining the key issues arising from this Budget on 12th October at Dooley's Hotel.


Click here to download presentation slides from this event.

Learn at Lunch: Move Your Accounting Software into the 21st Century


Date: Thursday, 27th October

Time: 12.30pm (registration & lunch); 1.00–2.00pm (presentations)

Venue: Edmund Rice Heritage Centre, Barrack Street, Waterford

Cost: This is a free event with lunch included. Places are limited.

Bookings: Call Jemma at 051 311136 or email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


One Law Society CPD hour available for this event.


Do you need to:

  • Manage your growing business’ finances, supply chain and reporting online?
  • Keep your business fully compliant with legislation, and secure through automated back-ups and enhanced security?
  • Use fully flexible, with optional modules that can be added as your business grows?


The old phrase, 'if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it', is often the rationale for trundling along with an accounting system. But now with the availability of cost efficient cloud accounting and financial solutions, such thinking could be holding your company back from significant benefits that include: cost savings, productivity improvements, real-time business insight, and even increased revenue.


On the day there will be an opportunity to win a six-month subscription to Sage 200 online for your business (T&C’s apply), so bring along your business cards.




  • Nigel Pim – Pims Business Systems
  • Stephanie Davies – Brook Software Solutions
  • Sarah-Jane McGurrell – Sage Ireland
The voice of Irish business is heard in European Parliament


EPE parliament hemicycle


Chambers Ireland and a delegation of representatives of the Irish business community participated in the European Parliament of Enterprises in Brussels yesterday (13/10/16).


The European Parliament of Enterprises allows business people from all over Europe to become Members of the European Parliament of Enterprises (MEPEs) for one day and gain unique insights into how one of the most powerful bodies in Europe goes about their decision making process. The delegation of representatives from the Irish business community participated in the debates and votes held throughout the day on trade, the single market, sustainability and skills.


In his opening address, Richard Weber, Chairman of Eurochambres said, “The time has come for businesses to reiterate their capacity and willingness to provide solutions to the challenges of today: globalisation, unemployment, unfair competition, migration and climate change.”


Speaking following the event, Nick Donnelly, CEO, Waterford Chamber said, “The European Parliament of Enterprises gives SMEs a unique opportunity to experience firsthand how important decisions are made at the highest level and raise any concerns they may have. It is clear from the results of the votes that trade matters for ordinary business across the EU, with 94% of MEPEs voting in support of an effective EU trade policy and 95% feel SMEs should have a stronger say in such trade policy. These results show just how important trade is to business and agreements such as TTIP and CETA are vital for Europe to remain competitive globally. It is particularly worrying that two thirds of the entrepreneurs in attendance from across Europe expressed concern that Brexit would harm their business. It is important in this period of uncertainty that the EU listen to the voice of business and work to create a more business friendly policy environment.”


Irish businessman Eoin Barry, ARV Excellence and MEPE representing Galway Chamber said, “It's great to have been a part of the Irish delegation to the EPE 2016. The EU, specifically, the Single Market, is a great place to do business and the people in it are intent on making it better. The chambers of commerce play an important role in informing that positive change and Chambers Ireland is really playing its part."


Speaking during the debate on sustainability, Irish MEPE Andrea Carroll, South Dublin Chamber said, “Sustainability is not just about green issues but applies to all businesses, who need to consider the economic, social and environmental sustainability of their business. The EU must acknowledge that there are limits to growth in our society and use initiatives such as the circular economy package to lead on this issue without creating a significant regulatory or administrative burden for SMEs.”

Irish Chambers meet high ranking EU officials to discuss priorities for Irish business


European Parliament Enterprises 3


A delegation from the Irish Chamber of Commerce Network, led by Chambers Ireland, today (12/10/2016) met with key officials from across the European Commission to discuss matters of importance to the Irish business community.


With representation from Chambers of Commerce across Ireland, the objective of the trip was to highlight the need for the European Commission to proactively engage with the business community, particularly SMEs, on issues like trade, innovation, skills and regulation.


Speaking in Brussels today, Chambers Ireland Chief Executive Ian Talbot said, “Following on from the UK’s decision to leave the European Union, it is now more important than ever for the voice of Irish business to be heard in Brussels. While we are steadfast in our belief that Ireland’s economic future can only be secured if it remains at the heart of a strong Europe, we also believe that the EU must evolve and adapt in these changing times. The voice of business must be listened to.”


“The Chamber Network briefed various European decision makers on the key concerns of Irish business. Even with the highest rates of growth in the EU, we are a small open economy and we are considerably exposed to external forces and the uncertainty stemming from Brexit.  We must ensure that the European Commission continues to support growth, job creation and innovation.”


Today’s visit to Brussels comes in advance of the “European Parliament of Enterprises, organised by Eurochambres in cooperation with the European Parliament, where more than 800 entrepreneursfrom45 European countriesand from all business sizes and sectors will gather in the hemicycle of the European Parliament in Brussels to act as MEPs for one day, debating and voting on crucial business related policy issues.


Chambers of Commerce represented as part of the Irish Chamber delegation to Brussels include; Cork Chamber, Fingal Dublin Chamber, Galway Chamber, North Kildare Chamber, Shannon Chamber, South Dublin Chamber, Waterford Chamber and Wexford Chamber.


As part of the day’s itinerary, the Irish Chamber Network delegation met with the Irish Ambassador to the European Union, representatives from the Irish Regions Office, DG Trade, DG Growth and the Executive Agency for SMEs (EASME).





Waterford Chamber Industrial Technologies conference highlights planning for Tech Change


Waterford Chamber hosted its fourth annual Industrial Technologies conference today (Thursday, October 13) at the Tower Hotel in Waterford City.


The conference hosted in partnership with Waterford Institute of Technology and sponsored by Vodafone Ireland saw a number of experts in the technology and industrial sectors take to the stage to discuss technologies such as Internet of Things, metal 3D printing, collaborative robotics and energy generation.


The panel of experts included Damain Finn General Manager of Waterford’s largest private sector employer, Bausch + Lomb, Jonathan Downey who is responsible for management and implementation of projects, which are of strategic importance to the Schivo Group, Mike Wilson, ABB who has over 30 years of experience in the application of automation to manufacturing, Rodger Greene lecturer in Energy Management within the Department of the Built Environment at WIT, Derek O’Connor Facilities Engineering and Structural Manager for Bausch + Lomb Ireland and Carol Stafford of Vodafone Ireland who addressed Leveraging Internet of Things in the Healthcare Industry.


The keynote address at the conference was delivered by General Manager of Waterford’s largest private sector employer, Bausch + Lomb Damain Finn. Speaking at the event Damain said, “According to a recent survey, 86% of executives anticipated that the pace of technology change will increase rapidly or at an unprecedented rate in industry over the next three years. Many companies will find themselves overwhelmed with the magnitude of the tasks ahead. It may be an old saying, but, in the words of Benjamin Franklin ‘Failing to plan is planning to fail’. The Bausch + Lomb, Waterford site recognized this challenge and worked with employees to develop a 5-year strategic plan “Vision 20/20” to embrace technology improvements, improve automation and increase capacity at the site. Today, 2 years into that journey, the site continues to execute to this strategic plan and to seek out new automation concepts at key manufacturing steps.”


Speaking at the Conference, Leo O’Leary, Head of Large Sales at Vodafone Ireland, said: “Vodafone Ireland is delighted to sponsor the Waterford Chamber Industrial Technologies Conference.  Our Connected Futures Report, which is the first series of research reports commissioned by Vodafone, explores the impact and potential of digital connectivity in realising a vision for Ireland as a ‘Gigabit Society’. Vodafone’s vision is that every consumer, company and community in Ireland will be an equal member of the gigabit society and is able access to high quality services at high speeds. World class connectivity plays a crucial role not only when exploring the latest technology developments in the industry, but in society so people can connect to what matters most to them.”


Speaking on the importance of hosting such an event and sharing best practice models President of Waterford Chamber Laurent Borla said, “The IndTech conference is a significant event on the Waterford Chamber calendar. It provides an opportunity for technology and engineering professionals to discuss about new developments and share experiences. It also provides a platform for local vendors, Waterford Institute of Technology and our sponsor Vodafone to demonstrate the services and goods on offer to the many manufacturing companies in the region. Topics such as Internet of Things, collaborative robotics, 3D printing and energy sustainability are critical to the competitiveness of Irish industry. We are grateful for the support of all our partners in organising this event."


Click on the links below to download speaker presentations.




'The Automation Journey'
Damain Finn, General Manager, Bausch + Lomb



'Vodafone Business Offering'
Leo O'Leary, Vodafone



'Leveraging Internet of Things in the Healthcare Industry'
Carol Stafford, Vodafone



'Additive Manufacturing Technologies: 3D Printing'
Jonathan Downey, Schivo Group



'Collaborative Robotics: YuMi'
Mike Wilson, ABB



'Business Side of Sustainability'
Rodger Greene, Waterford Institute of Technology



'Environmental-Friendly Power Plant: CHP'
Derek O'Connor, Bausch + Lomb


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