Public Policy Bulletin, 10 July 2020

Jul 10, 2020

In today’s Public Policy news, take a look at some of the European Commission’s recently published reports. You can read about the latest economic predictions as per the Summer 2020 Economic Forecast report, and Ireland’s performance in the newly released EU Single Market Scoreboard. Also, the European Commission has launched its first call for applications to apply for the new €1 billion investment package towards developing green projects, under the Innovation Fund.

 

“A deeper recession with wider divergence”, warns the latest European Economic Forecast

Released earlier this week, the European Commission’s Summer 2020 Economic Forecast has forewarned that the EU economy will experience a deep recession this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, despite the swift and comprehensive policy response at both EU and national levels.

 

How are the numbers looking for Ireland?

As per the forecast, Ireland’s economy is set to shrink by 8.5 per cent in 2020 and is predicted to only rise up to 6.3 per cent in 2021. This compares with the Commission's Spring forecast of a downturn of 7.9 per cent for this year and a recovery of 6.1 per cent for next year.

 

What was the major impact on Ireland?

The forecast has stated that economic activity in Ireland is expected to have plunged in the second quarter of the year due to the COVID-19 pandemic and its associated lockdown. Private consumption is set to be particularly hit due to the measures.

 

Is Brexit contributing to the predicted economic downturn in Ireland?

Ireland’s economic outlook remains affected by specific uncertainty concerning the future relationship between the EU and the UK, potential changes in the international taxation environment and the activities of multinationals registered in Ireland.

 

Single Market Scoreboard 2020: Member States need to do more

 

What is the Single Market Scoreboard?

The European Commission has launched the 2020 edition of the Single Market Scoreboard, which rates members of the European Economic Area (EEA) on how effectively the EU single market rules were applied. The Scoreboard is an online tool, which aims to monitor the performance of the Member States by using clear indicators, with the objective to improve the functioning of the Single Market. A well-functioning single market is crucial for ensuring the free movement of supplies across the EU and vital for the swift recovery of the EU economy, especially in a post-COVID era.

 

What does the Scoreboard evaluate?

The Scoreboard evaluates how Member States have performed as regards to:

  • Implementation of EU rules
  • creating open and integrated markets (e.g. public procurement, trade in goods and services)
  • handling administrative issues concerning foreign workers (e.g. professional qualifications)
  • cooperate and contribute to a number of EU-wide governance tools

How did Ireland perform on the Scoreboard?

We have given below a summary of Ireland’s performance under key public policy areas:

 

Key public policy areas

Ireland’s performance

Single Market governance tools (transposition, infringements etc.)

Above average

Single Market Policy Areas (public procurement, professional qualifications)

Average

Integration and market openness (trade in goods and services)

Average

Note: Ireland has the fourth highest level of trade integration in the single market for services

 

What were the other key findings of the Scoreboard?

  • Uneven enforcement of single market rules: while Member States significantly improved the transposition of EU legislation, the number of infringement procedures has grown, partly due to incompletely or incorrectly transposed EU legislation

     

  • Expanded administrative cooperation among Member States: The use of the Internal Market Information system (IMI), which supports Member States’ administrative cooperation in 16 policy and legal areas, has increased by 52 per cent.

     

  • Steady increase in use of tools helping citizens and businesses benefit from the single market: The number of citizens using Your Europe information portal and the Your Europe Advice services has drastically increased.

     

  • More work needed in specific policy areas: further improvements are needed to ensure the free movement of professionals, especially to ensure more decisions recognising professional qualifications. The public procurement performance of Member States continues to be uneven, in particular as regards contracts awarded to single bidders.

 

Commission launches first call for €1 billion investment in innovative green projects 

 

On 3 July 2020, the European Commission launched the first call for proposals under the Innovation Fund.

 

Take a look at our explainer on the Innovation Fund, which describes the Innovation Fund in greater details, and includes links to apply.

 

The Innovation Fund is a programme provided by the EU to finance breakthrough technologies. It aims to create the right financial incentives for companies and public authorities to invest now in the next generation of low-carbon technologies and give EU companies a ‘first-mover advantage’ to become global technology leaders.

 

This first call contributes to the green recovery of the EU economy by helping businesses invest in clean energy and clean industry to boost economic growth, create local jobs and give a competitive advantage to EU industry.

 

 

Read all our updates on our Public Policy web centre.