Commissioner Mairead McGuinness to open Enterprise Ireland- IIEA event on opportunities for Irish SMEs in the EU Single Market

18th July 2022

Five people at IIEA event

Speaking about the event, Enterprise Ireland CEO Leo Clancy said: “Following the UK’s decision in 2016 to leave the EU, Enterprise Ireland has had a strategic focus to support Irish exporters to diversify into the EU and the Eurozone in particular. This strategy has delivered, with exports to the Eurozone by companies supported by Enterprise Ireland now at record levels, exceeding 6 billion in 2021, up 10% on the previous year. After the UK, the Eurozone is now the second largest export market for Enterprise Ireland client companies. However, the level of untapped opportunity is significant and presents increasing opportunities as Europe looks to bring supply chains closer to home. With a strong reputation as trusted, innovative, friendly and flexible, we are strongly encouraging Irish companies to look to Europe for their future.”

European Commissioner Mairead McGuinness said: “There are opportunities for Irish SMEs in the EU’s single market. We are part of a market of 440 million people. And we share a common currency – the euro – with 18 other EU countries, soon to be 19 as Croatia joins the eurozone on 1 Jan, 2023. That means there is a lot of potential for Irish businesses to seize export opportunities - without customs checks, tariffs, or differing regulations. As European Commissioner I’m working with my colleagues to make the single market function as efficiently as possible, especially when it comes to capital, financing and investment, so that businesses can take full advantage.”

Event moderator and IIEA Chief Economist, Dan O'Brien, said: “The IIEA is delighted to be partner with Enterprise Ireland for this event which provides a unique opportunity for Irish SMEs to hear insights from expert Enterprise Ireland Market Advisers from across Europe and discuss potential avenues for development".

More information is available at: 'Europe is Our Future: Opportunities in Your Sector Across Europe'.

What: Commissioner Mairead McGuinness, European Commissioner for Financial Services, Financial Stability, and the Capital Markets Union will give a speech in UL as part of Enterprise Ireland and the Institute of International and European Affairs (IIEA)’s ‘Europe is Our Future’ series which delivers insights on four high-growth sectors in the EU Single Market and the opportunities for SMEs.

When: Monday, 18 July 2022 at 11am in the School of Medicine, North Campus, University of Limerick. Registration begins at 10.30am.

Photocall at 10.45am on the Living Bridge, featuring European Commissioner Mairead McGuinness, Enterprise Ireland CEO Leo Clancy, Enterprise Ireland Eurozone Director Anne Lanigan, IIEA Chief Economist Dan O’Brien.

Registration: This event will take place in-person and is fully on-the-record. To register or if you have any queries about the event, please email: IIEA Communications Officer, Evie McCullough, at or call +353 87 737 0157.


About The Institute of International and European Affairs

The IIEA is Ireland’s leading European and International Affairs think tank. We are an independent, not-for-profit organisation with charitable status.

Our role is to identify key European and international policy trends, which will inform the work of Ireland’s decision makers and business leaders and enrich the public debate on Ireland’s role in the EU and on the global stage.

About Enterprise Ireland

Enterprise Ireland is the Irish government agency responsible for the development and growth of Irish companies internationally in order to grow exports and jobs. Enterprise Ireland works with entrepreneurs and businesses to help them to start-up, develop innovative products and services, and scale internationally. Enterprise Ireland facilitates access to international markets through its international office network, supports business strategy and management capability training and provides finance, investment and research expertise.

For details of all upcoming IIEA events, please visit

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For further information contact

Evie McCullough

IIEA Communications

Evie McCullough

+353 87 737 0157