Chamber’s Ireland Weekly Digest: 20th March 2017

  1. 2017 Presidential Distinguished Award for the Irish Abroad (PDSA)

The nomination process for the 2017 Presidential Distinguished Service Award for the Irish Abroad (PDSA) is currently open and will close on Wednesday 19th April 2017.  


This Award was established by the Irish Government in 2012, to provide a system of State recognition for those living abroad.  There are six categories under which individuals can be nominated:

  • Irish Community Support
  • Arts, Culture and Sport
  • Charitable Works
  • Business and Education
  • Peace, Reconciliation and Development
  • Science, Technology and Innovation (additional category introduced in 2016)

In order to be eligible for consideration, nominees must be habitually resident outside the island of Ireland and are required to satisfy the following additional requirements:

(i)     have rendered distinguished service to the nation and/or its reputation abroad;

(ii)   have actively and demonstrably contributed to Ireland and/or its international reputation and/or Irish communities abroad in at least one of the categories listed above;

(iii)  have a track record of sustained support and engagement with Ireland and/or its international reputation and/or Irish communities abroad over a period of not less than 5 years.

Nominations can be made by any member of the public, but are submitted through the Embassy of Ireland in the country of residence of the nominee.   If you know someone who meets the criteria above, please complete the 2017 Nomination Form and forward it to the relevant Embassy for the country the nominee is resident in before Wednesday, 19th April, 2017.


Further details on eligibility and the nomination process are available here, together with details of previous recipients of this Award.   You may also be interested in viewing a short video showing highlights of the 2016 Presidential Distinguished Service Awards.



  1. All –island Civic Dialogue on Brexit – Report

The second plenary meeting of the All-island Civic Dialogue took place in Dublin Castle on 17 February 2017. A video from the day is now available to view on the Government Press Office website at


There is also a compendium report available which brings together the reports of the first and second plenary meetings, along with a summary document of the sectoral dialogue meetings, which were attended by Chamber reps across the country – Compendium Report


In addition to these publications, you might be interested to read the Government’s Brexit Priorities Book which has been published today. This information booklet published today outlines the Irish Government’s main priorities and concerns ahead of the Brexit negotiations.



  1. We Need Your Input: Burden Tracker Project (Provision of Food Information to Consumers)

The aim of this initiative is to   identify specific pieces of EU legislation that create significant burdens for businesses, with a particular focus on SMEs. The legislation that has been identified this year is Regulation No. 1169-2011 on the Provision of Food Information to Consumers.


Some aspects of the legislation that have been identified as burdensome are as follows:

  • Obligation for food business operators in the catering and restaurant sector to provide allergen information
  • mandatory food information (art. 9)
  • storage conditions or conditions of use (art. 25)
  • mandatory nutrition declaration
  • restrictions to the presentation of the products (art. 34)
  • fair information practices (article 7)


Please circulate this note to your SME members who are working in the food industry, who may have encountered difficulties in implementing this legislation. We’re looking to collect data including; anecdotal evidence, estimates of additional costs incurred; inconsistencies in enforcement etc; and written testimonials from business. Please send your input or ask your members to contact directly before the 31st March 2017.



  1. SMEs and Trade- Ready2Go Programme

The European Commission and the European Agency for Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (EASME) launched Ready2Go to support European SMEs to internationalise and become active in five target Third-Country markets.

Ready2Go provides an individual training and coaching programme which will be specifically tailored to the business. The aim of the training will be for each business to create an International Business Plan, a strategic outline to set goals and kick start international progress. Each participating company will receive on-distance support and advice from Ready2Go throughout the programme. The selected participants will benefit also from the opportunity to explore overseas markets; not only can they choose to attend 2 additional trainings taking place in 5 different cultural hubs across Europe but they will also attend up to 2 networking events in the target countries, with expenses partially funded.


The Ready2Go programme is available only for 80 selected companies. The 80 winning companies will:

  • take part in 3-day individual training and coaching programme event (to take place at the company’s’ headquarters) between June and August 2017.
  • take part in the 2-day training being held in European cities between July and October 2017.
  • draft their internationalization business plan with the support of Ready2Go.
  • take part in up 2 matchmaking events to be held between November 2017 and July 2018 in two of the following countries: Canada, Cameroon, Chile, India and United States.


Online application is available at and must be submitted by the 31th March 2017. Further information about eligibility and selection criteria, dates and the programme are available at If you have any questions please contact