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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

Next week, Social Justice Ireland and Trócaire will co-host a hustings event for the Dublin constituency ahead of the European Elections on May 24th. Ahead of this, we have formulated a joint policy platform, with Five Key Policy Asks. 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

Among the key findings from the National Social Monitor - European Edition are that quality of housing, the burden of housing costs, financial distress, difficulty in making ends meet and the environment are key issues in Ireland and across the European Union.  As we face into European Elections in May these issues are certain to feature strongly.

Social Justice Ireland today launches the latest in our European Research Series 'Recovery in Europe: uneven and incomplete' reviewing the social situation in the 28 EU member states and making some proposals and recommendations for a more sustainable and inclusive future. The report analyses performance in areas such as poverty and inequality, employment, access to key public services
and taxation. These areas are examined in light of the key social policy responses of the European Union to the crisis including the social investment package.

‘Recovery in Europe: uneven and incomplete’ is the twelfth publication in Social Justice Ireland’s European Research Series.  

The purpose of our European Research Series is tocontribute to the debate and discussion on policy issues that affect all members of the European Union. To date this research series has produced comprehensive reviews of Ireland’s performance towards its Europe 2020 targets, a comprehensive examination of the impact of policies pursued by the European Union and its members states after the financial crisis of 2008 and an extensive analysis of how European member states have been performing in terms of social and economic targets after the crisis. Some of this research focussed on those countries most affected by the crisis.

In the first quarter of each year the European Commission release its Country Report for Ireland, detailing its review of the current economic situation, Ireland’s progress with country-specific recommendations previously made by the European Commission, and setting out reform priorities for Ireland in the coming year. In our initial response to this year’s report, Social Justice Ireland welcomed the focus on a number of key areas and set out our proposals on how Ireland might respond to the Country Specific Recommendations.

Following up on Social Justice Ireland’s Sustainable Progress Index, we publish our report monitoring Ireland’s progress towards each of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and call on Government to ensure that achieving the SDGs is a key consideration for future policy-making, to identify to which SDG each new policy relates and document how that policy will support Ireland to achieve its goals.

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.

Successive Governments have continued to look to private entities to deliver public services.  This has given rise to a regulatory emphasis on safeguarding competition rather than protecting the consumer, leaving households dependent on essential services at the mercy of market forces.   The recommendations in a recent OECD report provide salutary advice.

In the most recent, and high-profile, mortgage sale, Permanent TSB this week announced its intention to sell 14,000 non-performing mortgage loans.  Some commentators have suggested that, instead of selling these loans, that individual borrowers be allowed to ‘make a deal’ with the lender to buy the loan at the intended sale price.  However, this solution is too simplistic. 

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