Ireland: An Example Of Best Practices In The Utilization of EU funds
Ireland holds the story of a successful evolution from the moment of its accession to the European Union up to the present day, achieving an impressive economic transformation that repositioned the country in the hierarchy of developed EU member states. The 37 years that passed from the moment of its accession were not characterized only by expansion periods, nor were they characterized by a rapid improvement in the economic indicators. Ireland was confronted with 2 oil crises and with a pro-cyclical fiscal expansion combined with salary increases, which had a negative impact on the economy. The budgetary consolidation, fiscal reform and moderate salaries established through a social partnership contributed to the rise in competitiveness, transforming Ireland into an attractive country for foreign direct investments. The measures taken at the national level created the necessary climate for the successful absorption of EU funds. Until the end of 1999, Ireland had absorbed 74.4% of the cohesion funds allocated and starting with 2000 the absorption rate raised to 92.1% of the amounts allocated until 2003 when Ireland didn’t meet anymore the criteria for assistance through the Cohesion Fund. Ireland focused on the implementation of transport and environment infrastructure projects, on the development of human resources and the improvement of education, succeeding in the same time to attract direct foreign investments in the high-tech industry from companies that had entered the single market. Ireland can provide, even after a summary analysis of the path followed to access EU funds, an example of best practices on the pragmatic approach and coherent policy elaboration designed to attract and implement EU funds, on the prioritization and guidance of the funds towards increased efficiency and the development of a healthy macroeconomic environment, on the creation of a partnership between the state, employers, unions, farmers, etc. in order to ensure credibility and support for government’s strategies.
Volume (Year): 12 (2010)
Issue (Month): 28 (June)
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