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Ireland: An Example Of Best Practices In The Utilization of EU funds


  • Amalia Nicoleta Coman

    () (Administrator - Strategic Planning and Programming, European Commission – Directorate General for Health and Consumers, Brussels, Belgium)

  • Paul Coman

    (Central-European Academy of Science and Art, Paris, France)


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.

Suggested Citation

  • Amalia Nicoleta Coman & Paul Coman, 2010. "Ireland: An Example Of Best Practices In The Utilization of EU funds," The AMFITEATRU ECONOMIC journal, Academy of Economic Studies - Bucharest, Romania, vol. 12(28), pages 661-674, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:aes:amfeco:v:12:y:2010:i:28:p:661-674

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    Cited by:

    1. Diana Elena RANF & Dãnut DUMITRAªCU, 2013. "Study On The Identification Of Influence Factors On European Access In Projects," Proceedings of the INTERNATIONAL MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE, Faculty of Management, Academy of Economic Studies, Bucharest, Romania, vol. 7(1), pages 629-640, November.

    More about this item


    Ireland`s success story; best practices in the absorption of EU funds; Ireland`s development; cohesion funds in Ireland; structural funds in Ireland;

    JEL classification:

    • O18 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Urban, Rural, Regional, and Transportation Analysis; Housing; Infrastructure
    • O52 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Europe
    • R11 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Regional Economic Activity: Growth, Development, Environmental Issues, and Changes
    • R58 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Regional Government Analysis - - - Regional Development Planning and Policy


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