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Citizen Engagement

Social Justice Ireland wishes our newly elected MEPs every success.  This is a pivotal time for the future of the European Union and MEPs play a key role in ensuring that social and environmental sustainability and the Sustainable Development Goals are at the heart of Europe's future.   To this end we have formulated Five Key Policy Asks for our MEPs in conjunction with Trocaire. They are:

  1. The Elimination of Poverty
  2. The Championing of Climate Justice
  3. Policy Coherence on the SDGs
  4. Delivery on the European Pillar of Social Rights
  5. Supporting an international treaty on Business and Human Rights

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The local and European elections threw up a variety of diverse issues many of which seem to be at odds with each other.  Concerns among voters about the impact of climate change and about the future of agriculture and livelihood of farmers may seem incompatible at first glance, but yet they are both very important issues to different sectors of society.  What these elections remind us is that a comprehensive policy framework is required to make progress on these issues and deliver a better future for everyone.

Local government has the potential to transform our communities but that potential is not being realised.  It is time to harness this potential and deliver more power locally.

In this edition of our National Social Monitor, Social Justice Ireland looks at the budgets of each of the 31 Local Authorities and analyses where the money was spent, and where it wasn’t, to assess the priorities of local government. 


We are facing into local elections in May 2019. Sustainable local development should be a key policy issue on the local government agenda.

On Thursday, 26th April 2018, Minister Denis Naughten unveiled Government's Sustainable Development Goals National Implementation Plan 2018-2020Social Justice Ireland welcomes this development and the commitment of Government to document the specific Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to which each current and new Government policy relates, and calls for the addition of an impact assessment for each of those policies in achieving Ireland’s goals and the closing of data gaps to support the development of an achievable SDG strategy.

The Government has today published its National Reform Programme 2018, as submitted to the European Commission.  In informing this process Social Justice Ireland submitted two papers to the Department of An Taoiseach - our comprehensive Europe2020 report and our analysis on the Country Specific Recommendations set out in the 2018 Country Report for Ireland.

Snapshot of PPNs in 2016

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The first comprehensive review of the Public Participation Networks (PPNs) has been published.

It shows that the 31 PPNs had nearly 12,000 member groups in 2016, and contributed to local policy and decision making, built local capacity and shared information on building stronger communities.

Social Justice Ireland has been a long term supporter of the PPNs as key to the local democracy and bringing decision making closer to the people who are effected by those decisions.

Social Justice Ireland's recent book entitled Basic Income: Radical Utopia or Practical Solution? has received an award for original work in Irish Fiscal Policy from Ireland's Foundation for Fiscal Studies, Fiscal.ie.

Social Justice Ireland has called for the introduction of an EU-wide Basic Income system.  Speaking at a consultation on the Future of Europe conducted by the European Economic and Social Committee, Seán Healy, Director, Social Justice Ireland, stated that confidence in the EU is being eroded steadily because of a number of failures in the areas of social policy, environmental protection and governance. It needed to be seen as a Union that cared for all its people.

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