Business group Ibec has said the European Parliament elections represent an opportunity to strengthen the country's influence in the European Parliament, in its political parties and on its policy committees.

Ibec today launched a European Parliament election campaign which encourages its members to find out more about the European Parliament and how its decisions impact business and jobs here.

The group also advises people to tell the election candidates how creating the right conditions for business can improve living standards, generate tax revenues and lead to new jobs here. 

Ibec is urging employers to inform their workers of the benefits that the EU provides for Irish businesses and to encourage their workers to actually vote in the elections on May 24. 

Ibec's chief executive Danny McCoy said the success of business will determine the ability of the EU to grow, improve job opportunities and living standards as well as generate resources for public services and infrastructure investment.

"It is vital that the needs of business are a priority for candidates," he stressed.

He also noted that this year's elections are taking places against the back-drop of a wave of populism sweeping across many parts of the EU. 

"It is extremely important, therefore, that the electorate in Ireland takes seriously what is at stake on May 24. The overriding message from Ibec is to turn out and exercise your democratic right to vote," Mr McCoy said.