December 02, 2004

Ireland: Second Highest GDP in the EU

According to the latest data from Eurostat, the Statistical Office of the European Communities, Ireland had the second highest GDP per capita in the EU in 2003. At 133% of the EU25 average Ireland was second only to Luxembourg, at 215% (however GDP per capita in Luxembourg tends to be overestimated, due to the large share of cross-border workers in total employment)

The revised data for 2003 shows Denmark, Austria, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and Belgium all around 20% above the EU25 average. Sweden and Finland recorded figures about 15% above average, and France, Germany and Italy around 10% above average. Spain was just below the EU25 average, and Cyprus, Greece and Slovenia about 20% below. Malta and Portugal were around 25% below average, the Czech Republic about 30% below, and Hungary about 40% below. Slovakia and Estonia were around half the average, while Lithuania, Poland and Latvia recorded figures
between 40% and 50% of the EU25 average. Further details at:
http://epp.eurostat.cec.eu.int/cache/ITY_PUBLIC/2-03122004-BP/EN/2-03122004-BP-EN.PDF

Posted by iroauthor

December 02, 2004

Study on Waste Management and the Implementation of the Landfill Directive

The EU Committee of the Regions (CoR), at the request of the European Commission, is to undertake a major study on Waste Management and the implementation of the EU’s Landfill Directive [1999/31/EC].

The aim of the study is to attempt to identify problems associated with the implementation of the Directive. Arising from an analysis of the results of this investigation the CoR will make recommendations to the Commission on how implementation can be improved.

It is expected that the CoR will distribute a questionnaire in May 2005 to gather views on implementation issues from local authorities. This information will feed into the final report, which should be sent to the Commission in November 2005, following approval by the CoR.

The Landfill Directive was adopted on July 16th, 1999 and was transposed into Irish law on the 2nd of July 2002 with the adoption of the Waste Management Licensing (Amendment) Regulations 2002 and European Communities (Amendment of Waste Management (Licensing) Regulations 2000) Regulations 2002. The Directive aims to improve standards of landfilling across Europe, through setting specific requirements for the design, operation and aftercare of landfills, and for the types of waste that can be accepted in landfills.

The Directive also sets targets for the reduction of the amount of biodegradable municipal waste sent to landfill to 75% by 2006, 50% by 2009, and 35% by 2016, of the total levels of biodegradable waste produced in 1995. Ireland, because of its heavy dependence on landfill, has been given a four-year derogation.

Other provisions in the Landfill Directive include a ban on the landfill of tyres and liquid, hazardous and clinical wastes at new landfills and by 2009 at existing landfills; a requirement to pre-treat waste going to existing landfills by 2009; and a requirement to internalise the costs of the establishment, operation and closure of the landfill into charges. Further information is available at: http://europa.eu.int/comm/environment/waste/landfill_index.htm

Posted by iroauthor

July 18, 2004

€108 million for PEACE Programme in 2005-2006

At a meeting on November 25th, agreement was reached between the Council and the European Parliament on a budget of €108 million for the extension of the PEACE II programme to 2006.

The budget for 2005 will be €60 million, with €50 million coming from the European Commission and a further €10 million for the UK government. In 2006 the programme will have a budget of €48 million, with €16 million coming from the Commission and €32 million from the UK and Irish governments. However, the Commission also gave an undertaking to try and find additional funds for 2006. It is expected that this decision will now be formally approved by the European Parliament in January 2005 and that the extended programme will be up and running by March 2005.

Agreement was also reached on an EU contribution of €15 million per year in 2005 and 2006 to the International Fund for Ireland (IFI). It is expected that this decision will be formally approved by the Parliament in December 2004. Further details from the Irish Regions Office.

Posted by iroauthor

July 18, 2004

Minister launches new Irish Regions Office website

A new website providing EU information for Ireland’s local and regional authorities is being launched today (December 15) by the Minister for Communications, Marine & Natural Resources, Mr Noel Dempsey TD at an event in the Ambassador Hotel, Kill County Kildare.

The new website, which is being coordinated by the Brussels based Irish Regions Office, will provide up to date information on EU developments of relevance to Ireland’s local and regional authorities, including information on EU laws, funding opportunities, cooperation with other EU regions and other developments at EU level that have a direct impact on local and regional authorities.

Launching the site, the Minister referred to the fact that an estimated 75% of all EU legislation now has direct implications for local and regional authorities. “Having served as Minister for the Environment Heritage and Local Government I am well aware of the responsibility this places on local and regional authorities,” he said. “These authorities are at the front line in terms of implementing a huge body of EU law. It is absolutely essential that they have good access to information, that they have a chance to input into the formulation of these laws and that they make maximum use of EU funding and other supports there to assist in this process. I am confident that this new website will be of tremendous benefit in this regard,” said the Minister.

Echoing the comments of the Minister, Cllr Seamus Murray, President of the Irish Delegation to the EU’s Committee of the Regions, said the new website would help Ireland’s local and regional authorities to play a fuller role in the EU. “Local and regional authorities from other Member States have put considerable resources into strengthening their links with Brussels,” said Cllr Murray, “and they have reaped the benefits. Ireland is lagging behind in this regard but we are moving in the right direction and today is another important step forward.”

In addition to providing information to the authorities in Ireland, the new website also aims to boost the profile of Ireland’s local and regional authorities within the EU. A section of the site presents Ireland’s sub-national authorities and highlights their role in implementing EU projects and programmes.

The site also provides information on the membership and activities of the Irish Delegation to the Committee of the Regions (CoR), the EU’s political assembly for local and regional authorities. The 317 members of the CoR, including nine from Ireland, must be consulted at the draft stage of all EU proposals that impact at the local and regional level.

Posted by iroauthor

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December 02, 2004
Ireland: Second Highest GDP in the EU

According to the latest data from Eurostat, the Statistical Office of the European Communities, Ireland had the second highest GDP per capita in the EU in 2003. At 133% of the EU25 average Ireland was second only to Luxembourg, at 215% (however GDP per capita in Luxembourg tends to be overestimated, due to the large share of cross-border workers in total employment)

Read the full article here...


December 02, 2004
Study on Waste Management and the Implementation of the Landfill Directive

The EU Committee of the Regions (CoR), at the request of the European Commission, is to undertake a major study on Waste Management and the implementation of the EU’s Landfill Directive [1999/31/EC].

Read the full article here...


July 18, 2004
€108 million for PEACE Programme in 2005-2006

At a meeting on November 25th, agreement was reached between the Council and the European Parliament on a budget of €108 million for the extension of the PEACE II programme to 2006.

Read the full article here...


July 18, 2004
Minister launches new Irish Regions Office website

A new website providing EU information for Ireland’s local and regional authorities is being launched today (December 15) by the Minister for Communications, Marine & Natural Resources, Mr Noel Dempsey TD at an event in the Ambassador Hotel, Kill County Kildare.

Read the full article here...