EU Regional Policy: Impacts for Local Government

The future of Europe and the policy engines that will drive it are being widely debated all across the EU. Brexit has tended to dominate our national and local media, as well as public debate. It is timely with this briefing to review emerging EU priorities and the impact it will have, regionally and locally, in Ireland post 2020.

The people of Ireland recognise and greatly value EU membership and the benefits it has brought to the a country over the past 45 years. Eurobarometer puts Irish citizens as the most positive of member states on EU membership at 82% (EU average is 60%).

As Ireland’s economy has grown, EU receipts have reduced considerably, and the State is a now net contributor to the EU budget. However, both Cohesion and Regional Policy continue to make a positive contribution across the country. That noted, the landscape of funds and approach to Cohesion could be set for radical disruption.

David Minton reviews the evolving debate across the EU, the context for Ireland, rise of Invest EU and explore why local government should continue to influence its outcome. There are considerable emerging synergies between EU priorities and the recently published ‘Strategic Outcomes’ in the National Planning Framework/National Development Plan.