National Recovery and Resilience Plan: Ireland
Keywords:NextGenerationEU, Recovery and Resilience Facility, Ireland, European Union, European Pillar of Social Rights
Political leaders and the public in Ireland broadly welcomed the establishment of NextGenerationEU and the Recovery and Resilience Facility, despite limited public engagement with the detail of the programme. The method for calculating funding allocations has been criticized on the basis that the activities of multinational companies disguise the damage caused to the domestic economy by the Covid-19 pandemic, leaving Ireland with only a small allocation. Fears that the programme will act as a Trojan Horse for renewed austerity are understandable in light of Ireland’s experience of the EU–IMF bailout during the Financial Crisis, but ultimately seem unfounded. There is no evidence that EU institutions have been pushing Ireland towards austerity in recent years, as shown by the content of the country-specific recommendations. Although the Irish Resilience and Recovery Plan is unlikely to be transformational, it is nonetheless welcome as one aspect of the rebuilding effort after the pandemic, and should have some (albeit small) positive impact on protecting labour and social rights in Ireland. It is disappointing that the opportunity to focus more on social policy was not seized, but the small amount of funding available to Ireland meant that the impact was always going to be limited.
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