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Tag Archives: European Commission

Electric vehicles need Budget incentives – Dooley

  Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Communications, Climate Action and Environment, Timmy Dooley has called for attractive incentives in Budget 2018 to support Irish motorists in making the move to electric cars. Deputy Dooley claimed Ireland is already playing catch up when it comes to moving to electric and thereby decreasing our dependence on fossil fuels. “Budget 2018 is an opportunity for the Government to send out a clear and unambiguous message that it wants to support Irish motorists in making the move. “The use of electric vehicles will play a major role in addressing climate change and can also cut costs for the motorist. “There are many things that we can do to help ease and incentivise the transition,” he said. The Fianna Fáil Deputy proposed measures in Budget 2018 such as removing motor tax for all EVs for the next five years, eliminating motor tolls for five years, and rolling out more fast-charge points across the road network to remove …

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BurrenLIFE receives ‘Best Ever’ award

THE BurrenLIFE project has just received a special “Best-Ever” award from the European Commission, recognising it as the best ever LIFE project in the 25-year history of the programme. The prize was awarded in the Nature and Biodiversity Category. The awards are being presented in Green Week to exceptional LIFE projects over the past 25 years, at the Green Awards ceremony in Brussels. A special edition of the annual LIFE awards, the Green Awards singled out projects that have had remarkable effects on the EU’s natural environment and in creating green jobs and boosting green growth over the past quarter century. The European Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Karmenu Vella said at the ceremony, “A quarter century is a long time, and over that time LIFE has funded more than 4,000 projects to the tune of over €3 billion.” He told attendees that the awards symbolise the Commission’s “appreciation for the efforts of thousands, the hard work and …

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Leader’s important contribution to Clare

THE importance of Leader funding to communities in County Clare is set to be raised with the European Commission. The EU rural development fund supports community and economic development in towns, villages and rural areas across Europe. The rollout of the 2014-2020 programme has still not been announced by the Department of the Environment. Speaking from Strasbourg, Liadh Ní Riada, MEP, said the funding must be made available to communities. “The Leader programme delivers much-needed investment to community projects and small businesses outside of our big cities. It is a vital support for so many projects that drive local economies and improve the quality of life in rural Ireland. “Many community projects are ready to proceed with projects and have been waiting for almost two years for this funding to come on stream. “The preparation for the 2014-2016 programme have been marked by confusion, mismanagement and silence from government. “It’s not even clear what organisations will be delivering the programme …

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Shannon Estuary energy hub plan

An ambitious new EU energy package could see the Shannon Estuary serve as an energy hub for Europe and save Irish householders money, according to Sean Kelly MEP. The Ireland South MEP welcomed the announcement of the Energy Union and called on member states to work to harmonise their national energy strategies for the benefit of the entire EU. “Increased EU energy cooperation will see us improve the security of our energy supply, increase our competitiveness, and move towards a low carbon system. An integrated energy market brings more competition and ultimately more affordable energy prices for European consumers”, said the MEP. “It is clear that we are far too dependent on unreliable external sources for our energy supply, particularly Russia. There is an urgent need to diversify our energy resources to ensure the European consumer is not adversely affected by geopolitical crises such as the one we have seen in Ukraine,” he said. Mr Kelly said increased efforts to …

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Hen harrier concerns for hill farmers

Following a series of public rallies in the West of Ireland, a new national farming organisation, the Irish Natura and Hill Farmers Association (INHFA) has been officially established. Since the draft Rural Development Programme was sent to the European Commission on July 3, 2014 by the Departments of Agriculture and broadly endorsed by the farming organisations, a passionate group of hill farmers and those farming designated lands, including farmers with hen harrier sites, have sustained a campaign to make changes to the RDP. The reasons for this was that commonage farmers could access the GLAS scheme as individuals and where Natura lands have been devalued  by designation, that measures would be added to help keep those farms viable. Massive rallies were held in Westport (1,700 farmers), Letterkenny ( 900 farmers), Maam Cross (1,000 farmers) to highlight the unfairness of the proposals in the draft and culminating in a march for fairness by 2,500 farmers in Castlebar.  

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EU blows aviation incentives off radar

Government plans to create thousands of jobs in a potentially lucrative business at Shannon Airport hang in the balance, after the European Commission vetoed a special tax incentive scheme designed to attract major international investors. The Government has been forced to start new negotiations with EU authorities to try to come up with an amended tax break plan, which was a flagship project that was earmarked to generate thousands of jobs, by facilitating the construction of aircraft maintenance hangars and ancillary facilities in Shannon. The decision has been described as a “disappointing set-back” and a “serious blow” by Fianna Fáil Deputy Timmy Dooley, who hopes efforts will continue to ensure the revised plan will be successful. However, Fine Gael Deputy Pat Breen believes this move does not jeopardise Shannon Airport’s efforts to develop an international aviation centre and will, in fact, “probably put Shannon in a stronger position”. Deputy Dooley expressed concern the revised tax incentive package would be much …

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European policy seminar in Glór

A public seminar entitled European Economic Policy – What’s in it for Ireland? will be held at Glór in Ennis on Wednesday night next. This event, which is being organised by the European Commission Representation in Ireland, will feature presentations from Stephen Kinsella of the University of Limerick and Seamus Coffey from University College Cork. The panel will aim to shed light on new EU economic governance rules and what lies in store for Ireland’s economy. Speaking ahead of the seminar, Barbara Nolan, head of the European Commission Representation in Ireland, said, “Ireland is now well on the road to recovery. The economy is again growing and creating jobs. This seminar in Ennis seeks to explain how new EU economic governance rules support policy making in Ireland and seek to ensure that the recovery is sustainable and socially inclusive. Those who attend will have an opportunity to hear from the experts, but also to ask questions.” During the Q&A session, …

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EU boost for Shannon firm

A SHANNON firm is to benefit under an EU initiative which will deliver €3 billion to small to medium enterprises (SMEs). AltraTecch Ltd, based at Ballymurtagh business park, is one of 155 small companies from 21 countries, including 10 in Ireland, that will be first to receive €50,000 to finance feasibility studies for their projects. The projects can also benefit from up to three days of business coaching and after that, their projects may be considered for further financial support from the Commission worth up to €2.5 million. AltraTech is to receive funding for their innovative development of a 30-minute on-site DNA test kit for food-authenticity testing. Speaking about the project, AltraTech CEO, Tim Cummins said, “Food samples currently have to be sent to a lab for DNA species testing, and it takes 4-6 days to get results. Our on-site DNA test eliminates this delay, and helps food processors and retailers to test food authenticity quickly in their plants or …

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