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Key EU Policy Areas
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The EU is active in a wide range of policy areas, from human rights to transport and trade.

Click on the links below for up-to-date information on the following key EU policy areas and how they apply to Ireland:

Agriculture and the CAP- Farming has been an important part of Irish life ever since the first settlers arrived on our green, fertile island. Ireland’s mild climate and lush soil has been a valuable source of food and trade for thousands of years and it’s still a vital part of who we are. Being part of the European Union has helped Ireland become economically less dependent on agriculture and we now also have plenty of hi-tech industry and global exports to help support us. However, the agri-food sector currently contributes €24 billion annually to the national economy and when supporting industries are included, it accounts for almost 10% of employment in the country. ike their ancestors, modern Irish farmers face many challenges but being a Member State of the European Union means they don’t have to face them alone. More ... 

 
Dairy cows

Economy- Ireland’s economic fortunes over the past decade or so have seldom been far from international headlines. The so-called Celtic Tiger years of unprecedented growth were followed by a spectacular economic collapse that led to the Irish Government requesting financial assistance from the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), collectively called the troika. In simple terms, Ireland went from being held up as a shining example of how a small, open economy could become successful in the modern, global marketplace to being a country on the brink of financial collapse. Ireland is now beginning to recover and measures are being put in place to encourage growth and protect our economy for the future. More ...

 Euro notes

Environment- Over three million holidaymakers visited Ireland in 2013 and the country’s reputation for clean, fresh air and lush green landscapes was one of the major attractions that brought them here. In fact, a visitor attitudes survey carried out by Fáilte Ireland during the year found that 84% of respondents cited our natural, unspoilt environment as a very important reason for coming here. That’s just one of the many reasons why caring for our natural resources and habitat needs to be one of Ireland’s most important on-going objectives, and it’s a top priority for the rest of the European Union too. More ...

Sunset

Fisheries and the Common Fisheries Policy- As an island nation fishing has always been economically and socially important to Ireland. The natural, clean water around Ireland’s 7,500km of coastline has provided exceptionally good seafood for thousands of years, and it’s important to protect it for future generations. The sailing boats, spears and makeshift nets our ancestors fished with didn’t pose any threat to jobs, the costal environment or fish stocks, but modern fishing vessels and methods do. Commercial trawlers can now travel vast distances across the ocean and some are fitted with hydraulically powered winches capable of scooping up several tonnes of fish in a single net. During much of the 20th century relentless fishing and marine pollution pushed some fish stocks to the brink of extinction making it necessary to regulate the fishing industry. Today, the interests of Irish fishermen, fishing communities and consumers of fish products are supported through the EU’s Common Fisheries Policy (CFP). More ...

Fishing trawler

Research and Innovation- Ireland's economy was one of the worst hit in Europe by the series of economic shockwaves that swept around the world following the global financial crisis of 2008.  The slow process of recovery is underway but there’s still a need for caution and vigilance as we work towards creating a strong economy fit to provide for our needs over the coming decades. Fiscal consolidation and structural reforms are necessary but smart investment is an equally important component of the rebuilding process. Ireland, and Europe, need to look towards the economic opportunities of tomorrow, and that’s why investing time, money and resources into research and innovation is so important to all our futures. More ...

Research laboratory

 EU-US Transatlantic Trade and Investment PartnershipThe European Union and the United States are currently negotiating to secure an agreement that will help create hundreds of thousands of jobs and pump billions of euros into economies on both sides of the Atlantic. The talks are aimed at securing a comprehensive Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) that will be the world’s biggest ever bilateral trade and investment deal. The EU and the US already trade goods and services worth €2 billion every day, but the TTIP would create further growth and new opportunities by eliminating red tape and tariffs wherever possible to reduce costs and open up new markets. More ...

US and EU flags

 

Links to more general information on all EU policy areas are available here.




Last update: 23/05/2014  |Top