Answered on June 26, 2013
Deputy John Deasy asked the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation if his attention has been drawn to Eurostat data showing that citizens of other EU states living here had a higher employment rate than Irish nationals in 2012; and the reason, in his view, this is the case.
Reply from Minister Richard Bruton: Higher employment rates among migrants when compared to the native populations in their destination countries is a common and observable feature internationally. This may be explained by several factors:
Firstly, movers from the EU-12 (i.e. all recently accessed countries including EU-10 and EU-2) tend to be on average younger than the overall population in their destination countries, this will impact on relativities with native populations which will have a larger proportion of people outside of the working age.
Often migrants enter a country without family members for both practical reasons and due to the typical age profile of migrants which are often relatively young and may not yet have started a family. This can affect statistics in that migrants may not have the same level of non-working adult dependents as native populations.
Furthermore, mobile workers invariably have fewer ties to their receiving country. They have a predisposition to exit the country during periods of economic downturn, reflecting the fact that the main reason for their move abroad was to find work.
In sixteen EU Member States, working age citizens of other EU countries had a higher rate of employment than the rate for nationals of their receiving country. Rates were highest in Slovenia (80.2), Latvia (76.6), the Netherlands (76.1), the United Kingdom (75.9) and Poland (75.8). The gap between the average employment rate of working age citizens of other EU countries and the local population is highest in Italy, the UK, the Czech Republic and Luxembourg. It should be noted that using the EU LFS to estimate the number and characteristics of resident foreigners, and in particular "EU foreigners", can suffer limitations. Among these limitations, in the case of Slovenia, Latvia and Poland, are the small sample size which affects the reliability of data broken down by citizenship.
In recent years the annual EU Labour Force Surveys have shown that working age citizens from the EU-10 (the group of ten countries that joined the European Union in 2004) and the EU-2 (Bulgaria and Romania acceded in 2007) had a higher rate of employment on average when they moved abroad than the residents in the receiving EU-15 countries (by a difference of +9 percentage points in 2010). Since 85% of the EU-10 as well as the EU-2 nationals living in other Member States are of working age (i.e. aged 15-64) compared to 67% of the total resident population, intra-EU movers from the EU-10 and EU-2 countries are more likely to be in the economically productive period of their lives than the native population in the receiving countries.
Answered on May 28, 2013
Deputy John Deasy asked the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation in relation to his Department’s monitoring of the South-East Employment Action Plan, the number of ideas have been funded in Waterford since its launch in January 2012; the amount of funding for Waterford ideas that have been awarded to-date.
Reply from Minister Richard Bruton: The South East Employment Action Plan has a number of recommendations which the relevant agencies and stakeholders are charged with implementing. The following are examples of agency funding provided to individuals or companies in Waterford and in the South East since January 2012 to develop new business ideas.
Enterprise Ireland’s New Frontiers Entrepreneur Development Programme is a rapid incubation programme designed to provide hands-on support and management development for entrepreneurs who wish to start their own business.
Twenty promoters were accepted on to the 2012 programmes run in Waterford IT and Carlow IT. All were approved a €15,000 scholarship from Enterprise Ireland to develop business ideas which can be spun out as knowledge based companies to provide jobs and export sales. Graduates are expected to go on to set up new businesses in the South East following the programme.
Enterprise Ireland launched a pilot Competitive Feasibility Fund for new start-ups in the South East in January 2012. Over 40 applications were received with 14 high quality projects being approved for funding. The total fund was approximately €200,000. To date, one of the projects has been approved High Potential Start Up funding. Enterprise Ireland continues to work with innovative start-up companies at all stages of development and growth within the region.
Since 2007, Enterprise Ireland has approved a total of 707 Innovation Vouchers to companies in the South East with 287 approved to Waterford based companies (as of March 2013). Waterford has the fourth highest number of approved vouchers since 2007.
In addition to the above, the Waterford County and the Waterford City Enterprise Boards have both continued to use the funding available under the European Globalisation Fund and from my Department to provide supports for micro-enterprises within the County. From the 1st January 2012 to date, the two CEBs have funded 51 projects in the amount of €865,270 from the funding allocated by my Department, supporting the creation of 98 jobs, and funded a further 6 other projects in the amount of €110,462 with the financial support provided by the European Globalisation Fund.
Work is on-going on the implementation of the South-East Employment Action Plan recommendations, with agencies and stakeholders working together to maximise benefits for the region. The South East Forum, established to oversee the implementation of the Action Plan, and which I met most recently in March this year, will continue to examine ways that would lead to job creation and investment opportunities in the South East.
Answered on May 28, 2013
Deputy John Deasy asked the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation when he expects the EU Commission Directorate-General for Competition to publish the new Regional Aid Guidelines 2014-2020; and the extent to which he has participated in the recent public consultation process.
Reply from Minister Richard Bruton: As part of a State Aid Modernisation initiative currently being undertaken by the EU Commission a number of instruments are being reviewed in parallel, including, in particular, Guidelines on Regional Aid, Environmental Aid, Risk Capital, Research Development and Innovation, Broadband Guidelines and Aviation Guidelines.
Of major importance from an Irish perspective is the revision of the Regional Aid Guidelines. The purpose of Regional Aid is to support investment and job creation and encourage firms to set up new establishments in Europe's most disadvantaged regions.
The process of Member States agreeing the 2014-2021 Regional Aid Guidelines is underway and multilateral discussions between Member States and the Commission, which has responsibility for the Regional Aid Guidelines, have taken place.
This initiative is Commission led, and my Department is actively engaged in the process and has consulted relevant stakeholders including various Government Departments, the enterprise development agencies, Údarás na Gaeltachta, Forfás, the Central Statistics Office, the Border Midland and Western Regional Assembly, the Southern and Eastern Regional Assembly, and the eight Regional Authorities to ensure the preparation and submission of a comprehensive evidence based Irish position on the key issues.
The Commission issued a non-paper of its initial orientations in December 2011, which was followed by a multilateral meeting in March 2012. The Commission subsequently forwarded further proposals to Member States on 14 January 2013, documenting the structure and provisions that will form the basis of the revised Guidelines. These proposals were again discussed at a multilateral meeting on 11 and 12 of February 2013.
I met directly with Commissioner Almunia to discuss the issue of State Aids in December 2012. Minister Sherlock has also raised this issue with Commissioner Geoghegan-Quinn. Concerns relating to the range of coverage and support for large enterprises were raised at these meetings as being items of major concern to Ireland.
In addition, my Departments officials are in regular discussions on these issues with Commission officials across a range of dossiers, to ensure that Irish concerns are well known within the Commission. My officials are also liaising with a number of like-minded Member States on the issue. All relevant Government Departments are being kept briefed on this issue through the State Aid Interdepartmental Committee and briefs have issued to all relevant Minsters. All Irish MEPs and the Irish representatives on the Council of the Regions are also being briefed on this issue.
A revised proposal on Regional Aid will shortly be circulated through the Commission as part of the normal inter-service consultation. My Department, in conjunction with the enterprise agencies, is in the process of preparing a detailed submission to the Commission on this revised proposal.
The next meeting of the College of Commissioners is scheduled for Wednesday, 19 June 2013. Once the Regional Proposal has been agreed by the College it will be formally adopted and published by DG Competition.
Dáil Éireann allocates a certain amount of time on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays during which Deputies may ask questions of Members of the Government relating to Public Affairs connected with their Departments, or on matters of administration for whch they are officially responsible. The Taoiseach answers questions on his own Department on Tuesdays/Wednesdays.