What has changed?
- There is no clarification on cabinet appointment for this area. Currently Minister Dara Murphy (FG) has responsibility for EU Affairs and Data Protection (out of Department of the Taoiseach).
- Much of trade policy remains within the remit of Mary Mitchell O’Connor (FG) within the Department of Jobs Enterprise and innovation.
- Charlie Flanagan (FG) is remaining as Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade.
- Digital economy - awaiting clarification. Currently Minister of State, Dara Murphy (FG) has responsibility for EU Affairs and Data Protection (out of Department of the Taoiseach). New Department of Communications - Denis Naughten. Old DCENR portfolio will now include communications and responsibility for energy and the environment, including climate change. New Department of Regional Development - Heather Humphreys will also be assigned responsibility for the rollout of rural broadband.
Positives for business
- Ireland will continue to play its role in the European Institutions in “resolving the many external conflicts” impacting the EU.
- Support expressed for maintaining UK membership of the EU and a pledge to “use appropriate avenues to express the Irish Government perspective on UK membership of the EU.”
Outstanding issues and missed opportunities
- Minimal overall reference to European Affairs and Ireland’s place in Europe.
- Although referring to the “beneficial” nature of the UK maintaining its membership of the EU, there is no further detail, discussion or treatment of Brexit and the significant potential implications.
- No reference to Single Market completion and the significant untapped economic potential
- Absence of support or proposals for EU reform.
- Programme is silent on reducing European regulatory burden and measures to boost competitiveness and growth.
Contact Shane Lyster, EU policy at email@example.com