Ireland is not making progress towards meeting some of its Europe 2020 Targets. This is one of the main findings of Social Justice Ireland's latest report, Ireland and the Europe 2020 Strategy. The report finds that Ireland needs to make greater efforts to meet the Europe 2020 targets on employment and reducing poverty and social exclusion.
Our findings include that the policies pursued over many years are resulting in the ongoing exclusion of people who already find themselves on the margins of society and in many cases pushing Ireland further away from reaching many of its national targets under the Europe 2020 Strategy. This is of major concern to Social Justice Ireland. It also runs counter to the aim of inclusive growth which is central to the Europe 2020 Strategy.
Implicit in the approach taken in the Europe 2020 Strategy is that economic development, social development and environmental protection are complementary and interdependent – three sides of the same reality. 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.
This report was compiled by Social Justice Ireland in light of the Europe 2020 Strategy and its high-level targets, and of Ireland’s National Reform Programme, which sets out Ireland’s response to achieving those targets. It has been prepared by Social Justice Ireland drawing on data available from the EU and from Ireland’s Central Statistics Office (CSO) as well as on on-going work Social Justice Ireland is doing on European and global issues. It also builds on our previous series of reports (from 2011 on) on this same topic.