The Committee of the Regions
and the Irish Presidency
of the Council of the European Union
Date: January 2013
Description: The Irish Presidency of the Council of the European Union comes at a key moment for the future of the European integration process as a whole. There is a need to take bold measures to ensure that we do not lose momentum in the considerable progress made in economic, social and territorial cohesion, the success of the Common Market and the creation of a strong European Monetary Union. At the same time we have to be aware that the role of the European Union in the world is largely dependent on our ability to draw the right conclusions from the challenges of globalisation and new emerging markets in other parts of the world.
Pages from the Local Authority Times - Spring / Summer Edition
Date: Spring Summer 2011
Minister for Enterprise, Jobs and Innovation Richard Bruton T.D. stated his commitment to work more closely with the BMW Regional Assembly to review the impact and recommendations of a key strategic regional innovation report, which was launched by the Minister at the Assembly’s Conference in Athlone on Friday 6th May 2011. The report commissioned by the BMW Regional Assembly, ‘Audit of the Innovation System in the Border, Midland and Western Region’ examines the innovation and economic performance of the BMW Region and sets out the key challenges and opportunities for jobs creation and economic growth in a range of emerging high value economic sectors (knowledge-intensive services (KIS)).
Irish Regional Policy: In Search of Coherence - By Kieran Moylan (Purchase from the IPA Web site)
Date: June 2011
Description: The context for regional development is constantly being reshaped by the globalised economic system, which affects regions differently, with the attendant risk that disparities will widen. This study examines the coherence of Irish regional policy in this evolving context. It develops and applies a model of policy coherence to Irish regional policy in relation to investment planning processes, spatial planning and territorial governance. The dominant regional economic growth theories and the influential concepts of territorial cohesion, regional competitiveness and polycentric spatial development are critically reviewed. The rationale for regional policy is re-examined; a typology of regional policy interventions and territorial governance arrangements is outlined, and its relevance to Ireland is assessed. The study combines an analysis of documentary sources and statistical trends with the outcomes of 24 interviews with leading personnel in four categories - government departments and agencies, subnational public bodies, selected academic experts and social partner bodies - all of whom are active players in regional policy development, implementation and evaluation processes. Among the key findings are that regional policy goals are subsidiary to national goals and that Irish regional policy lacks coherence with related policies. The study finds a need for an enhanced role for region-level bodies that would greatly improve the territorial co-ordination of sectoral policies. It concludes that the policy coherence framework is a useful one that could be applied more generally in reviewing public policies.
The Commission proposes the next Multiannual Financial Framework 2014-2020
Date: June 2011
Description: On 29 June 2011 the European Commission presented a package of legislative proposals and related documents addressing policy challenges facing the European Union in the years to come. Within the so called Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) the Commission's adopted its principal position to the Union's finances for the years 2014-2020. The proposal follows a discussion over the EU Budget Review launched in October 2010 and brings several important new elements. The Connecting Europe Facility is designed to fund cross-border projects in energy, transport and information technology throughout Europe. Key changes in research, cohesion, agriculture and external action are tabled. For the future financing of the EU Budget the Commission suggests to use innovative financial instruments, pushes for further simplification and presents a new own resources system. The Commission's plan focuses on priority funding at the EU level that provides true added value. At the same time, this innovative EU budget remains focused: The overall amount proposed for the next seven years is €1,025 billion in commitments (1.05% of the EU GNI) and €972.2 billion (1% of EU GNI) in payments. President Barroso said: "This is an innovative budget and I invite you to look beyond the headline figures to see how, with this budget, we will deliver growth and jobs." "In the current times of fiscal austerity all across the EU, the Commission has presented an ambitious but realistic proposal for the next MFF", explains commissioner for financing programming and budget Janusz Lewandowski.
Extract From Public Affairs ireland journal
Issue No. 77 (369kb pdf)
Date: June 2011
Description: Evaluating the regional knowledge economy: A case study of the BMW Region.
Audit of the Innovation System in the Border, Midland and Western Region An Evaluation of a Regional Knowledge Economy (7mb pdf)
Date: May 2011
Description: The report examines how the BMW Region is performing against its goal of building an economy based on innovation and knowledge based growth. In doing so, it seeks to provide insights into opportunities for delivering this important goal.
Report Title: Public Attitudes and Awareness of Ireland’s European Union Structural Funds Programmes, 2007-2013 (2mb pdf)
Date: February 2010
Description: The broad objective of the project was to conduct a survey amongst a representative sample of the general public to measure awareness of, and attitudes towards, Ireland’s EU Structural Funds Programmes. The results of the survey (where possible) benchmark public attitudes against previous NDP surveys (2001, 2002, 2004) and serve to ascertain the success of the communications plan set out by the NSRF and ERDF co-funded Regional Programmes.
Report Title: Maximising the Economic Impact of Airports in the BMW Region 1.1mb (pdf)
Date: December 2009
Description: Airports represent a strategic asset to a region and are making a considerable contribution to the local and regional economy in the Border, Midland and Western Region. The success of any airport is linked with the economic well-being of the region it serves, while the degree of connectivity of a region forms the foundation for economic competitiveness. This research report examines the extent to which airports within the BMW Region are achieving their economic potential.
Report Title: The Future of EU Cohesion Policy and its Implications for Irish Regional Policy 220kb (pdf)
Date: September 2009
Description: This paper reviews the many factors that drive consideration of EU regional policy reform at EU, national and regional level, with particular reference to the implications of this for Irish regional policy. It is argued that the EU agenda for reform will be driven by budgetary considerations, the renewed emphasis on EU-wide objectives relating to the Lisbon and Gothenberg Agendas, the debate on the rationale for regional programming in non-objective 1 (convergence) regions and addressing future challenges such as globalisation, climate change, the energy challenge and demographic shifts.
Report Title: Quality of Life in Gateways, Regions, Counties, Cities and Towns 320kb (pdf)
Date: Spring - Summer 2009
Description: April saw the launch of a new initiative to assess quality of life and development in the nine Gateway centres identified by the National Spatial Strategy. The Gateway Development Index, prepared by the Border Midland and Western (BMW) and Southern and Eastern (S&E) Regional Assemblies, is designed to measure the extent to which each Gateway is progressing in driving economic development and improving quality of life in their area.
Report Title: The Collaborative Research and Innovation Strategy for the Border, Midland and Western (BMW) Region 335kb (pdf)
Date: July 2009
Description: This Líonra Collaborative Research and Innovation Strategy for the Border, Midlands and Western Region (BMW) has been produced in response to the need for a co-ordinated approach to Research, Technological Development and Innovation (RTDI) across the region.
Report Title: Evaluation of the BMW Regional Programme of Innovative Actions 4.6mb (pdf)
Date: June 2009
Description: This is the Final Report for the Evaluation of the Border, Midland and Western (BMW) Regional Programme of Innovative Actions 2006-08. The evaluation has been undertaken on behalf of the BMW Regional Assembly by Fitzpatrick Associates and WESTBIC.
Report Title: Responding to the Recession: the challenge for Ireland's regions - Public Affairs Ireland Journal 332kb (pdf)
Date: March 2009
Description: The focus on Ireland’s economic performance over the boom years of the Celtic Tiger years has been marked by a general lack of coverage of the disparate performances of Ireland’s regional economies despite the introduction of the National Spatial Strategy in 2002. As we now face into what is likely to be a sustained period of negative economic growth, it is timely to consider the early indicators of how Ireland’s regions are performing in this new economic reality and the implications of this for public policy in the medium term.
Report Title: DRAFT OPINION of the Committee of the Regions on "THINK SMALL FIRST" - A "SMALL BUSINESS ACT" FOR EUROPE 209kb (pdf)
Date: February 2009
Description: THE COMMITTEE OF THE REGIONS welcomes the Commission’s communication on a "Small Business Act (SBA) for Europe" and endorses the policy agenda being pursued which strives to provide a breakthrough for EU SME policy by delivering a framework to facilitate the promotion of entrepreneurship and SME-friendly legislation while enabling the growth of small and medium sized enterprises across Europe through the application of the "Think Small First" principle;
Report Title: Gateway Development Index (GDI) 7,660kb (pdf)
Date: February 2009
Description: This research examines how the Nine Gateway Towns & Cities are performing against their objectives as set out in the National Spatial Strategy 2002-2020 (the strategy for regional development in Ireland) and evaluates the impact of investment under the National Development Plan and the Regional Operational Programmes for the period 2007-2013. The GDI will be produced in 2008, 2010 and 2013.
Report Title: BMW Regional Foresight Exercise 2005-2025 8.8mb (pdf)
Description: This report presents the strategy articulated through the BMW Regional Foresight process, which took place from March to December 2004. The Foresight exercise presented people in the BMW Region with a unique opportunity to express their vision and investment priorities for the region in 2025. It brought together a range of stakeholders from public and private bodies at local, regional and national levels and used future-oriented visioning techniques to identify ambitious and realistic priorities for the region for the next twenty years. The delivery of these priorities will be essential to achieving a way of life and standard of living of which people in the region can be proud.
Report Title: Audit of Innovation 3.67mb (pdf)
Description: The audit of innovation was conducted to help policy makers understand issues of competitiveness, research and technological adaptation and organisational change in the BMW Region. This involved developing a profile of innovation, identifying or developing appropriate indicators and benchmarking current levels of innovation in the BMW Region against best practice elsewhere. Insights to innovation performance improvement strategies and actions in other regions informed the audit process.The audit also proposed a pilot initiative targeted at small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) in the region.