What We Do

The EU Competitiveness Council

The Competitiveness Council is one of the ten current EU Council of Ministers formations. The various strands of activity of the Competitiveness Council are industry, internal market, research and space.

The department's EU Affairs Unit together with our Permanent Representation in Brussels (PRB), co-ordinates material in relation to the industry and internal market elements of the Competitiveness Council. The Innovation and Investment Division of our department has responsibility for the space aspect of the Council. The Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science has responsibility for the research and innovation aspects of the Council.

The Council normally meets in a formal session four times a year in Brussels, the Minister and Ministers of State usually act as head of delegation at these formal meetings. Ministers also meet in an informal session once during each Presidency in the country of the member state hosting the Presidency. Belgium host the current presidency of the EU until the end of June 2024. They will be followed from July to December 2024 by Hungary.

Whilst this department takes the lead role in this Council, given the cross cutting issues involved, a number of other departments also provide inputs to the Council. This department co-ordinates, prepares and develops policy inputs to the EU Competitiveness Council on a range of issues including:

  • company law and consumer issues
  • SME and State Aid policy
  • better regulation
  • internal market issues
  • intellectual property