Representation in Ireland

European Commission Representation in Ireland

Annual events

EU stand at the BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition /ireland/file/btyste-2019-2jpg_enbtyste-2019-2.jpg copyright The EU Commission Representation in Ireland hosts a stand at the annual BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition...Read more


The European Commission Representation in Ireland /ireland/file/rep-brochure-coverjpg_enrep-brochure-cover.jpg Image from the cover of the brochure The European Commission Representation in Ireland is part of the Commission’s network of representative offices throughout...Read more


Why are so many highly-qualified young people working in low-skilled jobs when 40% of European companies say they can't find the right people to grow their business?

The European Commission says there are serious skills mismatches and gaps in the EU's labour market and today announced 10 actions it wants to take at European level.


Vice-President for the Euro and Social Dialogue, Valdis Dombrovskis, said: "With millions of people in the EU currently out of work, we need to do all we can to help equip them with the right skills for the evolving labour market. Today's 10-point action plan sets out areas where the EU can help make a difference, from ensuring better recognition of qualifications across EU borders, to a Skills Guarantee that helps low-skilled adults learn essential literacy, numeracy and digital skills."    

Forty-per cent of Europeans lack the basic digital skills necessary for today's fast-changing labour market. And even in 2016, 70 million Europeans [1] lack sufficient reading, writing and numeracy skills.

Citing a lack of relevant skills to match labour market needs and problems with mutual recognition of qualifications, the Commission's 10 point plan covers a broad range of labour market bottle-necks. 

They will be rolled out over the next two years, with some being launched today. (Note for information: Legal competence for education and training lies with Member States, but as countries have similar challenges and opportunities such as skills mismatches, skills shortages and insufficient workers' mobility, digital needs, ageing workforces, brain drain, or migratory flows, the Commission plays a coordinating role through common initiatives, frameworks and guidelines, and by sharing expertise and good practice.)

The 10 Actions proposed:

  • A Skills Guarantee to help low-skilled adults acquire a minimum level of literacy, numeracy and digital skills and progress towards an upper secondary qualification.
  • A review of the European Qualifications Framework for a better understanding of qualifications and to make better use of all available skills in the European labour market.
  • The "Digital Skills and Jobs Coalition" bringing together Member States and education, employment and industry stakeholders to develop a large digital talent pool and ensure that individuals and the labour force in Europe are equipped with adequate digital skills.
  • The ‘Blueprint for Sectoral Cooperation on Skills’ to improve skills intelligence and address skills shortages in specific economic sectors.
    Other actions will be launched later this year and in 2017:
  • A "Skills Profile Tool for Third Country Nationals" to support early identification and profiling of skills and qualifications of asylum seekers, refugees and other migrants.
  • A revision of the Europass Framework, offering people better and easier-to-use tools to present their skills and get useful real-time information on skills needs and trends which can help with career and learning choices.
  • Making Vocational Education and Training (VET) a first choice by enhancing opportunities for VET learners to undertake a work based learning experience and promoting greater visibility of good labour market outcomes of VET.
  • A review of the Recommendation on Key Competences to help more people acquire the core set of skills necessary to work and live in the 21st century with a special focus on promoting entrepreneurial and innovation-oriented mind-sets and skills.
  • An initiative on graduate tracking to improve information on how graduates progress in the labour market.
  • A proposal to further analyse and exchange best practices on effective ways to address brain drain.

Further information

European Commission press release: Ten actions to help equip people in Europe with better skills

Fact sheet: Ten actions to help equip people in Europe with better skills - Frequently asked questions

Country specific factsheets


New Eurostat figures show that 88% of Dubliners are happy with the air quality in their city, the highest in Europe along with Vienna and Helsinki (also 88%). The inhabitants of Bucharest (22%), Sofia (28%) are the least happy with their air quality.


When it comes to noise levels, Dubliners (82%) has the highest share of inhabitants who are satisfied with noise levels followed by Helsinki (81%). The inhabitants of Bucharest (31%) and Sofia (36%) are once again the least satisfied.

These figures were published by Eurostat to mark World Environment Day on Sunday 5 June and refer to 2015. See the full Eurostat press release here.

Eurostat comparative tables on air quality and noise levels


EU Research Commissioner Carlos Moedas

Three innovative Irish-led research projects have just been awarded large grants from the EU's research and innovation programme, Horizon 2020. The announcement was made in Brussels this morning.


Based in Limerick, Dublin and Galway, the Irish companies are leading important research on systems and products which are close to being ready for commercial exploitation. The EU funding they have been awarded supports getting tested, innovative research to market. The Irish companies awarded the grants are three of just 16 businesses to have come through a highly competitive process involving 263 projects and 1057 companies, from across the EU, pitching for the funds.

Carlos Moedas, Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, said: “Through Horizon 2020, we want to support innovative businesses to compete in global markets. These results bring the total investment to nearly €135 million in fast-access EU funding for close-to-the-market innovation activities, helping European R&D reach successful commercialisation."

The Limerick company is MAC and they are leading a group of European companies in a project known as ADMS (SmartGrid Active Distribution Management System to accommodate Renewable Energy Sources and Low Carbon Emissions) which will receive total EU funding of €1,594,281. Their project is about improving the stability of renewable energy in the electricity grid.

(The partners being led from Limerick are based in Germany and the Netherlands.)

The Dublin company is OpenHydro Group Ltd and they are leading a group of European researchers in a project called OCTTIC (Open-Centre Tidal Turbine Industrial Capability), which will receive total EU funding of € 2,996,327. Their project looks at wave energy and aims to find ways to make it as cheap as wind energy so that it is more practical to use in the electricity grid.

(The project being led from Dublin involves partners from Belgium, United Kingdom and the Netherlands.)

The Galway company leading the third project is ÉireComposites of Inverin, Co Galway and the project is called POWDERBLADE (Commercialisation of Advanced Composite Material Technology: Carbon-Glass Hybrid in PowderEpoxy for Large (60-100m) Wind Turbine Blades), and it will be getting a total of €2,731,700 in funding. They are in the final stages of a project on light, cost-effective, carbon glass hybrid blades for wind turbines.

(The project also involves partners from the United Kingdom, the Netherlands as well as another Irish SME, Westbic based in Mervue, also Galway.)

Here is a link to an interview with Dr Tomás Flanagan of Powderblade, based in Galway:

Here is a link Directorate-General for Research and Innovation where the news is announced:


The FTI is a fully bottom up measure promoting innovation activities at the close-to-the-market stage. It supports mature innovative concepts that have already been tested. Supported activities include systems validation in real working conditions, testing, piloting, validation of business models and standard setting and pre-normative research.

The scheme runs during 2015-2016 as a pilot initiative under Horizon 2020, with a budget of €200 million. The scheme is open to all kinds of participants and supports any topic under the “Societal Challenges” and the specific objective “Leadership in Enabling and Industrial Technologies (LEITs)”. This thematic openness, combined with accessibility to all kinds of innovation entities, will nurture trans-disciplinary and cross-sector cooperation for growth through innovation.

The pilot is implemented through one common and continuously open call. Proposals can be submitted at any time. The next cut-off date for applications is 25 October 2016.

The projects are:

ADMS(SmartGrid Active Distribution Management System to accommodate Renewable Energy Sources and Low Carbon Emissions), led by MAC of Limerick is to receive total EU funding of €1,594,281.

The project, which will receive a total of €1,594,281 in EU funding, also involves partners from Germany and the Netherlands.

OCTTIC (Open-Centre Tidal Turbine Industrial Capability), led by OpenHydro Group Limited of Dublin is to receive total EU funding of €2,996,327.

The project also involves partners from Belgium, United Kingdom and the Netherlands

POWDERBLADE(Commercialisation of Advanced Composite Material Technology: Carbon-Glass Hybrid in PowderEpoxy for Large (60-100m) Wind Turbine Blades), led by ÉireComposites of Inverin, Co. Galway is to receive total EU funding of €2,731,700.

The project also involves partners from the United Kingdom, the Netherlands as well as another Irish SME, Westbic.


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The European Commission Representation in Ireland publishes a number of calls for tender every year. Details of any open calls for tender can be found below. See here ( more


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