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Europe 2020

The European Commission last week (05 June 2019) published its Country Specific Recommendations for Ireland as part of its European Semester work programme.  The three recommendations for 2019/2020 focus once again on the need for Ireland to broaden the tax base, as well as supports for low work intensity households and targeted investment.  These are areas on which the European Commission have made recommendations previously and, while Ireland has made some improvements in recent years, we have a long way to go.

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

The headline social inclusion targets addressed in the Irish National Reform Programme are focussed on employment, education and ‘poverty and social exclusion’.  How is Ireland performing on the social inclusion aspects of our National Reform Programme and our Europe 2020 targets?

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. It is the latest in a series that has tracked Ireland’s performance for many years.

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.

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.

The European Commission has just published the 2017 Country Specific Recommendations for Ireland, accompanied by an assessment of Ireland's National Reform Programme and 2017 Stability Programme.  This forms part of the European Semester process.  Social Justice Ireland's initial response to the Country Specific Recommendations is available below.  

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.

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