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How is Ireland performing on our Europe 2020 Targets?

Our latest review of the National Reform Programme identifies the Europe 2020 target and Ireland’s corresponding headline target, and:

  • Analyses the current context;
  • Assesses progress (or otherwise) in achieving the Irish headline target;
  • Reviews recent policy decisions and assesses their contribution (or otherwise) to Ireland achieving its targets;
  • Identifies a number of issues relevant to the achievement of the targets; and
  • Makes recommendations on adjusting the targets that Government has set in particular areas.

Our findings include that while there has been progress towards some of our headline targets,  policies pursued over many years resulted in the exclusion of people who were already on the margins of society and in many cases policies pursued continue to fail to reach many of Ireland’s national targets set under the Europe 2020 Strategy. Furthermore, since the economy and the employment situation have begun to improve in Ireland,  new challenges – such as precarious and low-paid employment - are highlighted as issues that must be addressed to achieve the vision of inclusivity of the Europe 2020 Strategy. These issues are of major concern to Social Justice Ireland.

Overall, current trends in Irish public policy are running counter to the promotion of ‘inclusive growth,’ which is one of the three key priorities which underlie the Europe 2020 Strategy.  Inclusive growth is not just about fostering a high-employment economy, it also aims to deliver social cohesion – it is integral to the Europe 2020 strategy and needs to be integral to the response of the Irish Government. 

Our review of Ireland and the Europe 2020 Strategy is available here.