Business & Finance Awards

Business & Finance Awards to recognise EU’s contribution to Ireland

By Business & Finance
19 October 2022

The Sutherland Leadership Award will recognise the European Union’s contribution to Ireland at the prestigious Business & Finance Awards gala ceremony on 1st December in Dublin. 

The Sutherland Leadership Award was established in 2018 with the support of the Sutherland Family to recognise outstanding international leaders who have embodied the values of one of Ireland’s and Europe’s finest leaders, Peter Sutherland. Since its inception, The Sutherland Leadership Award has recognised Henry (Hank) Paulson, 74th US Secretary of the Treasury & Founder of the Paulson Institute; José Manuel Barroso, former President of the European Commission and Mario Draghi former President of the European Central Bank and Prime Minister of Italy.

The Sutherland Leadership Award is now an integral part of the Business & Finance Awards Programme which is now in its 48th year hosted in association with KPMG. 

Ireland EU50

In 2022, Ireland will celebrate 50 years of EU membership. The decision to join the (then) European Economic Community in 1972 had an enormous impact on our economic development as a nation and, over the course of 50 years, Ireland has benefited immeasurably. 

At the time of joining, Ireland’s economy was largely agricultural and between 1973 and 2020 the Common Agricultural Policy invested €64.7 billion in supporting Irish farmers and rural community projects. EU membership also helped Ireland develop a knowledge-based economy across pharmaceutical, computer and financial services industries. We now have access to the world’s largest single market of over 447 million people and the EU is Ireland’s most important trading bloc, with 40% of exports going to fellow Member States.

As EU citizens, Irish people can live and work freely in any Member State which means further opportunities for Irish workers. Emigration figures dropped with greater numbers returning to the country than leaving. Irish women saw their circumstances improve as they gained greater equality with the adoption of EU legislation on equality in the workplace. 

The EU played a considerable role in the current Peace Process. In 1972, there were 479 deaths recorded in Northern Ireland, of which 249 were civilians. The European Parliament provided a neutral political platform for Nationalists and Unionists. Importantly, the EU supports the Belfast Agreement and was emphatic that there be no hard border on the island of Ireland during Brexit negotiations. 

1st December 2022

Announcing the 2022 Sutherland Leadership Award’s recognition of the EU’s contribution to Ireland, Ian Hyland, President & Publisher of Business & Finance said: “This is a very special recognition of the European Union’s contribution to Ireland in the year that we mark the fiftieth anniversary since Ireland joined the EU. The Sutherland Leadership Award is named after an outstanding Patriot, European and Global Citizen, Peter Sutherland. I know that Peter would be incredibly proud that a project he believed in so much is being recognised, in his name, to mark this important milestone for Europe and Ireland in his name.

Remembering Peter Sutherland

Peter Sutherland was European Commissioner for Competition from 1985 – 1989 and Director General of the World Trade Organisation achieving the 123 signatories to the GATT which completed the Uruguay Round ultimately creating the WTO in 1995. Peter had strong ties to the Business & Finance Awards Programme, having been recognised for his achievements in 1994 and again in 2007. Peter was the UN Special Representative for International Migration. He served as Chairman of Goldman Sachs for twenty years.

The Sutherland Leadership Award was established in Mr Sutherland’s honour in 2018 with the support of the Sutherland family. The inaugural Sutherland Leadership award was presented to the 11th President of the European Commission José Manuel Barroso in December 2018. Its second recipient, former President of the European Central Bank Mario Draghi, was presented the award in December 2019 and in 2021 the award was accepted by Henry (Hank) Paulson, former US Secretary of the Treasury. 

The Business & Finance Irish Business Awards

Business & Finance was launched in 1964 as Ireland’s first business periodical. The Business & Finance Awards was thereafter established in 1974. The Awards Programme, now in its 48th year, has recognised some of outstanding leaders of our time across business, politics and wider society. 

The programme has hosted and honoured some of the most significant political, business and social leaders of our time including President WJ Clinton, Sir John Major, former President of Ireland Mary Robinson, Kofi Annan, President of Ireland Michael D. Higgins, former Taoiseach Enda Kenny, Senator George Mitchell, Mayor Michael Bloomberg Sir Bob Geldof, former President of Ireland Mary and Senator Martin McAleese and in 2021 posthumously recognised John & Pat Hume, this award was presented to the Hume family by Bono.

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