Public Policy Bulletin, 27 April 2020

Apr 24, 2020

In this week’s bulletin, read about the European Union leaders video conference which took place last week to discuss joint action to overcome the COVID-19 crisis. You can also read about the top takeaway points from the Irish Government’s recently published Stability Programme Update which incorporates the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in its macroeconomic forecasts.

EU leaders discuss joint action to overcome the COVID-19 crisis via video conference

European Union leaders met last week via video conference, in a bid to discuss joint action to overcome the COVID-19 crisis. President of the European Council, Charles Michel presented a joint roadmap for recovery (Joint European Roadmap towards lifting COVID-19 containment measures), focused on the single market, massive investment efforts, EU global action and on better governance and resilience. All of these measures were welcomed by EU leaders. The leaders also endorsed the agreement of the Eurogroup on three safety nets for workers, businesses, and citizens, amounting to a package worth €540 billion. They called for the package to be operational by 1 June 2020.

This was the fourth video conference in response to the COVID-19 emergency. You can view the Joint European Roadmap towards lifting COVID-19 containment measures and the infographic on the EU’s emergency response to the COVID-19 pandemic on their website.


Minister Donohoe publishes Stability Programme Update 2020

The Minister for Finance, and Public Expenditure and Reform, Paschal Donohoe T.D., published the Government’s Stability Programme Update 2020 earlier this week. The document sets out a macroeconomic and fiscal scenario for the period 2020-2021 which incorporates the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The macroeconomic forecasts underpinning the SPU were endorsed by the Irish Fiscal Advisory Council on 10 April.

The key five points of the update are as follows:

  1. Ireland’s GDP is projected to fall by 10.5 per cent this year with the labour market bearing the brunt of the economic shock of the COVID-19 outbreak
  2. Unemployment of 22 per cent is projected for Q2 of this year. It is projected that approximately 220,000 jobs will be lost
  3. Irish economy will run on a deficit of around 7.5 per cent of GDP or €23 billion, which is in line with the other eurozone Member States
  4. Recovery assumed in Q3 and Q4 of the year is projected to gain momentum next year - with the economy growing by 6 per cent and unemployment falling to below 10 per cent next year
  5. The economy is set to reach its pre-crisis level by 2022


The document will also be submitted to the European Commission by 30 April 2020 in accordance with the requirements of the European Semester.

Read all our updates on our Public Policy web centre.