Influencing European Policy

Since leaving the Troika Bailout in late 2013, Ireland is now part of the Eurozone framework of monitoring review and correction called the European Semester.  

There are two parallel processes within this framework:

  • Europe 2020 Strategy - which has goals for reducing poverty, improving employment rates, reducing early school leaving, increasing third level progression and reducing greenhouse gas emissions - and
  • Stability and Growth Pact - which covers fiscal and macroeconomic policies

The point of all this is to improve co-ordination, cohesion and stability across Eurozone Member States and to avoid national politics getting in the way of evidence based decision making  -  which SVP welcomes. We realise that engaging with Europe within this new process is vital if we want to get our message across to those who can  influence our Government to undertake the much needed reforms and policy changes which could improve outcomes for  low income households. We’re not just liaising with the Irish Government anymore – we also need to convince European Commission officials of the need to put people at the heart of policy. Our advocacy work is not just about deciding national budgets anymore - it's about offering solutions and  recommendations, coming from our on the ground work through our 11,500 SVP volunteers, which will help Ireland achieve its Europe 2020 targets. We want our public service to be more flexible, equitable and transparent, designing and delivering coherent policies and programmes with clear outcomes.

Like other organisations, we are worried about the deep and growing disconnect between ordinary people and how EU member states are governed. Our policy and advocacy work will try to ensure that those most damaged by the austerity measures of recent years are protected from further cuts and erosion in services. We want to see living standards improved through the provision of better thought out policies and programmes. We have joined the Better Europe Alliance, a partnership of civil society, environment and trade union organisations which wants to influence how the EU operates. SVP contributes and lobbies proactively in this collective space to achieve a better deal for those in need. Many of the relevant publications and submissions in this area are via the Better Europe Alliance.

Publications & Submissions

Submission to the Department of Taoiseach on the National Reform Programme
Published 19 Apr 2016 | PDF | 186.46 KB

The SVP Blog

  • Posted by Audry Deane  on 09 June 2015 | 0 comments
    Without Social Investment Ireland cannot meet its Europe 2020 Targets
    It would have taken a very keen Europhile to have spotted the European Commission’s annual policy recommendations for Ireland, issued on 19th May, which slipped into the public domain with little or no take up or interest by the media. These proposals are part of the annual process of...
  • Posted by Audry Deane  on 05 March 2015 | 0 comments
    Real & honest engagement the only way to go
    Despite the strong message in much of mainstream media in Ireland that recovery is taking hold, SVP has yet to see any positive changes, such as a drop in calls for help to our offices around the country.
  • Posted by John-Mark McCafferty  on 23 September 2014 | 0 comments
    A reflection on the SVP Ethics Event
    The next 18 months are an unprecedented time of risk and opportunity for our country, given the potential of the recovery – both positive and negative. So the conversation we have in our homes, communities and organisations need to ensure that people who are marginalised are heard
  • Posted by Audry Deane  on 04 April 2014 | 0 comments
    SVP is stepping up to the plate
    Despite the apparent good news this week about the drop in numbers of people on the Live Register, SVP has yet to see any positive results from the much lauded fact that Ireland is now in Post Troika mode. 
  • Posted by John-Mark McCafferty  on 17 January 2014 | 0 comments
    Working on a Domestic Matter for 170 Years
    The representatives listened, but concluded at each meeting that they were interested primarily in deficit reduction and structural reform. Budget measures pursued by the Irish Government, which may cause hardship to people we assist, were exactly that –a domestic matter and not something...