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The European Court of Auditors Special Report on the Common Agricultural Policy and Climate has found that the €100 billion of Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) funds attributed to climate action had little impact on such emissions, which have not changed significantly since 2010 and CAP mostly finances measures with a low potential to mitigate climate change.


The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) has published a report on the impact of the instruments and measures of the current Common Agricultural policy (CAP) 2014-2020 on the territorial development of rural areas, with a focus on socio-economic aspects including social inclusion.


The issue of child poverty is again prominent in the European Commission agenda, with the publication of the Council Recommendation for Establishing a European Child Guarantee. In order to be successful, increased political focus is required and children must be at the heart of post-Covid recovery plans.  Increased European and national funding is also a prerequisite for success. 

The European Court of Auditors has just published a special report on child poverty in the EU entitled 'Combating child poverty – Better targeting of Commission support required'.  The report finds that child poverty remains a serious issue in the EU, and unfortunately, child poverty is likely to become even more prevalent in the aftermath of the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.  The report recommends that the European Commission target and monitor investment in tackling child poverty, particularly in the period of the new budget period 2021-2027.

It is concerning the new Programme for Government does not mention youth unemployment or a strategy to tackle it, particularly given the manner in which young people will likely be disproportionately affected by unemployment as the economy recovers from Covid-19. 


‘A Rising Tide Failing to Lift All Boats’ is the latest publication in Social Justice Ireland’s European Research Series.   This report analyses performance in areas such as poverty and inequality, employment, access to key public services and taxation.  The report also points to key policy proposals and alternatives for discussion.  These include the right to sufficient income, meaningful work and access to essential quality services.  The policy proposals explore how these areas might be delivered upon in a changing world.

Restructuring agriculture and supporting and incentivising farmers to move to more sustainable agricultural practices is integral to a Just Transition in Ireland.  One of the fundamental principles of a Just Transition is to leave no people, communities, economic sectors or regions behind as we transition to a low carbon future.  A clear pathway for the farming community outlining how they will be supported as part of a Just Transition, and the benefits of sustainable farming practice to our environment, natural capital and to their household incomes is essential.

“Economic growth is not an end in itself. An economy must work for the people and the planet.”  So begins the European Commission’s Annual Sustainable Growth Strategy, also referred to as the European Green Deal, consisting of four dimensions:  environment, productivity, stability and fairness.  The Sustainable Development Goals will be “at the heart” of the EU’s policymaking and action to move towards the objective of offering younger generations in Europe a sustainable and prosperous future.

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.

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.

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