Students and the broader public had a chance to voice their opinions at a town hall style meeting in University College Cork on ‘Brexit & Europe – Where Are We Headed?’. Speakers were Head of the European Commission Representation in Ireland Gerry Kiely, and Lecturer, Department of Government & Politics, University College Cork, Dr. Mary C. Murphy.
The discussion was moderated by European Movement Ireland Executive Director, Noelle O Connell.
The European Commission has today stepped up its “no-deal” outreach to EU businesses in the area of customs and indirect taxation such as VAT, given the risk that the United Kingdom may leave the EU on 30 March this year without a deal (a “no-deal” scenario).
The outreach campaign launched today is part of the Commission's ongoing efforts to prepare for the UK's exit of the European Union without a deal, in line with the European Council (Article 50) conclusions of December 2018, calling for intensified preparedness work for all scenarios.
The European Commission today adopted the 2018 edition of the General Report.
The report shows how the EU is delivering on its commitments to Europeans.
In 2018, after nearly 6 years of continuous growth, 239 million Europeans were at work – more than ever before. 12.4 million jobs have now been created since 2014, with unemployment dropping to 6.8% and youth unemployment back to 2008 levels. The Juncker Investment Plan for Europe has mobilised over €370 billion in investment across Europe.
As of tomorrow, new EU rules to cut costs and formalities for citizens living outside their home country will start to apply across the European Union.
Currently, citizens moving to or living in another EU country must obtain a stamp to prove that their public documents (such as a birth, marriage or death certificate) are authentic. This is the case of around 17 million EU citizens.
Fógraíodh inniu an liosta de bhuaiteoirí an chomórtais 'Aistritheoirí Óga 2018'. Cúigear daltaí meánscoile a bhí air – duine as gach cúige in Éirinn, dalta ar ar bronnadh duais as sár-aistriúchán ó Ghearmáinis go Gaeilge, agus mórbhuaiteoir amháin (an duine a rinne an t-aistriúchán ab fhearr ar fad). Ó Ghaillimh, ó Chiarraí, ó Bhaile Átha Cliath, ó Dhoire agus ó Chontae na Mí do bhuaiteoirí na bliana seo.
Ag labhairt faoi thorthaí an chomórtais, dúirt Aislínn McCrory, Ceann Aonad an Aistriúcháin Gaeilge sa Choimisiún Eorpach: 'dea-chomhartha do thodhchaí an aistriúcháin is ea caighdeán aistriúcháin na mbuaiteoirí i mbliana.'
The European Commission's Winter 2019 Economic Forecast predicts GDP growth of 4.1% for Ireland in 2019, joint second highest in the EU with Slovakia, and 3.7% for 2020. Malta is forecast to have the highest growth in 2019 at 5.2%.
Regarding Ireland, the forecast says: "The domestic economy is expected to expand at an average rate of 4% this year and next. Robust employment developments, stronger wage growth and weak inflation are set to further support private consumption. However, the ongoing decline in consumer confidence, reflecting uncertainty about the economic outlook, suggests downside risks to consumer spending. Construction activity is forecast to expand at a brisk pace, supported by government supply measures. Real GDP is estimated to have grown by 6.8% in 2018, well below projections in the autumn. This reflects weaker-than-expected growth in the third quarter and downward revisions to GDP statistics for the first half of the year. Influenced by the lower carry-over from 2018 and the less favourable outlook for global demand, Ireland’s GDP growth is forecast to moderate to 4.1% in 2019 and 3.7% in 2020."
The Withdrawal Agreement and the Political Declaration have been negotiated in good faith and have been agreed by all 27 Leaders of the European Union Member States as well as by the United Kingdom Government.
As we have said on many occasions, the Withdrawal Agreement is the best and only deal possible. It is not open for renegotiation.
The fourth evaluation of the EU Code of Conduct shows that IT companies are now assessing 89% of flagged content within 24 hours and 72% of the content deemed to be illegal hate speech is removed, compared to 40% and 28% respectively when the Code was first launched in 2016. However, companies need to improve their feedback to users.
The Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) between the EU and Japan enters into force on 1 February 2019. Businesses and consumers across Europe and in Japan can now take advantage of the largest open trade zone in the world.
The Economic Partnership Agreement removes the vast majority of the €1 billion of duties paid annually by EU companies exporting to Japan. Once the agreement is fully implemented, Japan will have scrapped customs duties on 97% of goods imported from the EU.
In a speech to the European Parliament today, President Juncker said: "The Withdrawal Agreement remains the best and only deal possible. The European Union said so in November. We said so in December. We said so after the first meaningful vote in the Commons in January. The debate and votes in the House of Commons yesterday do not change that. The Withdrawal Agreement will not be renegotiated."
See below for the full text of the President's speech.