In its Autumn 2018 Economic Forecast published this morning, the European Commission revised upwards its growth predictions for Ireland for 2018 and 2019 (see attached table) compared to the Summer 2018 forecasts. GDP growth for Ireland is now forecast to reach 7.8% in 2018 and 4.5% in 2019.
The Ireland country report says: "GDP growth in Ireland is expected to be strong this year, driven largely by the activities of multinational companies, but the pace is projected to moderate. The positive performance of the labour market and construction investment are expected to support the domestic economy in the near term. The government deficit is projected to turn slowly into a surplus, but risks to the fiscal outlook remain."
European Commission Vice-President for Energy Union Maroš Šefčovič is in Dublin today where he gave a keynote speech at the 2018 Climate Innovation Summit in Dublin Castle.
The focus of the Summit was on the finance needed to accelerate climate action. See below for the full text of the Vice-President's speech
During his visit, the Vice-President also met Richard Bruton, Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment to discuss the Clean Energy Package and the preparation of Ireland's 2030 national energy and climate plan.
See below for the full text of the Vice-President's speech.
The first results of a new Eurobarometer poll on Democracy and Elections reveal that 79% of Irish people, highest share in the EU, are concerned about the personal data people leave on the Internet being used to target the political messages they see. In 27 EU countries, a majority of people (67%) surveyed shared this feeling. Estonia (48%) was the only exception.
Following the confirmation by Ireland that the full recovery of the illegal State aid granted to Apple has been finalised, the Commission has today decided to withdraw its Court action against Ireland.
On 30 August 2016, the Commission adopted a State aid decision finding that Ireland had granted undue tax benefits of up to €13 billion to Apple. The Commission concluded that these tax benefits were illegal under EU State aid rules as they allowed Apple to pay substantially less tax on profits recorded in Ireland than other companies subject to same national taxation laws and ordered Ireland to recover the amount of taxes that should have been paid by Apple.
Today, a new harmonised set of fuel labels will appear across Europe. They will give drivers better information on the suitability of fuels for their vehicles wherever they travel in the EU, helping them avoid misfuelling and informing on the environmental impact of their choice.
The European Commission has put forward an action plan to develop a sustainable and circular bioeconomy that serves Europe's society, environment and economy. The new bioeconomy strategy aims to improve and scale up the sustainable use of renewable resources to address global and local challenges such as climate change and sustainable development.
In a world of finite biological resources and ecosystems, an innovation effort is needed to feed people, and provide them with clean water and energy. The bioeconomy can turn algae into fuel, recycle plastic, convert waste into new furniture or clothing or transform industrial by-products into bio-based fertilisers. It has the potential to generate 1 million new green jobs by 2030.
Speaking at the closing session of the Citizens' Energy Forum in Dublin today, European Commission Vice President in charge of the Energy Union, Maros Šefčovič said: "The energy chain is no longer a one-way street with traditional suppliers at one end and passive consumers at the receiving end. In a more decentralized energy system, consumers not only need to be protected, they contribute to making the system work."
Scroll down for the full text of the Vice President's speech.
European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker today delivered his 2018 State of the Union Address, before the Members of the European Parliament in Strasbourg, presenting his priorities for the year ahead and outlining his vision for how the European Union can continue to build a 'More United, Stronger and More Democratic Union', which was the theme of his 2017 Address. Against the backdrop of an ever more uncertain world, he stressed the need for Europe to become more sovereign so as to be able to play a role in shaping global affairs.
European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said today: "The geopolitical situation makes this Europe's hour: the time for European sovereignty has come. It is time Europe took its destiny into its own hands. This belief that “united we stand taller” is the very essence of what it means to be part of the European Union. Sharing sovereignty – when and where needed – makes each of our nation states stronger."
The European Commission has today published the preliminary results of the public consultation on clock change in Europe.
This online consultation, which ran from 4 July to 16 August 2018, received 4.6 million responses from all 28 Member States, the highest number of responses ever received in any Commission public consultation. According to the preliminary results (see annex), 84% of respondents are in favour of putting an end to the bi-annual clock change.
State of the art technology is necessary to strengthen grid efficiency and ensure renewable energy targets are met, Commissioner Phil Hogan said at the launch of the Trial Phase of a new hybrid flywheel energy project in Rhode, Co. Offaly (Wed. August 29th, 2019).
The project, operated by Irish company Schungrad Energie, has already received close to €3m EU investment and will now be trialled for development commercially. It is being developed in association with German companies Adaptive Balancing Power and Freqconand the University of Sheffield in the UK.