Ireland flag Ireland: Economic and Political Overview

The political framework of Ireland

Political Outline

Current Political Leaders
President: Michael D. Higgins (since 29 October 2011, re-elected in October 2018)
Prime Minister: Micheál Martin (since 27 June 2020)
Next Election Dates
Presidential elections: November 2025
Senate: 2025
House of Representatives: 2025
Current Political Context
General elections were held in February 2020, in which no party secured a majority but Fianna Fáil won the most seats. After months of coalition negotiations disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic, traditional rival parties Fianna Gail and Fine Gael formed a coalition government for the first time, along with the Green Party. The Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin was elected as Ireland’s Taoiseach (prime minister) in June, succeeding to Fine Gael’s leader Leo Varadkar. In 2021 the COVID-19 pandemic continued to dominate the political scene, with numerous protests against the restrictions measures such as mandatory lockdowns, hotel quarantine, masks-wearing, vaccine passports and the reopening of indoor dining.

After three years of conflict, the British Parliament voted in December 2019 in favor of the plan to leave the EU proposed by Prime Minister Boris Johnson. The last of the many deadlines for reaching a trade agreement was set for December 31, 2020, with no possibility of extending this transition period. Finally, on Christmas Eve, a 'thin deal' was signed, leaving much topics unsettled, to avoid a catastrophic exit without a deal. The stakes were crucial for Ireland because of its privileged trade relations with the United Kingdom and its land border with Northern Ireland. Besides the Brexit issue, Ireland introduced in the Budget 2022 the international tax reform increasing the corporate tax rate, as agreed with the OECD.

Main Political Parties
Historically, the Fianna Fail and Fine Gael parties have dominated politics.
- Fine Gael: centre-right, socially moderate and fiscally conservative
- Fianna Fail: centre/centre-right, populist
- Labour: centre-left
- Sinn Fein: left-wing
- Green Party: centre-left, driven by green politics.

-Renua Ireland
-Social Democrats
-Socialist Party

- Aontú


-Workers and unemployed Action: left

-Independents 4 Change: left

Executive Power
The President, who serves as the Head of State in a largely ceremonial role, is elected for a 7-year term and can be re-elected only once. The Prime Minister (Taoiseach) is the Head of the Government. He is appointed by the president after being appointed by the lower house.
Legislative Power
Bicameral national Parliament (Oireachtas): House of Representatives (Dail) and Senate (Seanad). The Chamber of Deputies has 166 members elected by universal suffrage and the Senate is composed of 60 members (one part elected by the national universities and the other part by a representative panel of the civil society).
 

Indicator of Freedom of the Press

Definition:

The world rankings, published annually, measures violations of press freedom worldwide. It reflects the degree of freedom enjoyed by journalists, the media and digital citizens of each country and the means used by states to respect and uphold this freedom. Finally, a note and a position are assigned to each country. To compile this index, Reporters Without Borders (RWB) prepared a questionnaire incorporating the main criteria (44 in total) to assess the situation of press freedom in a given country. This questionnaire was sent to partner organisations,150 RWB correspondents, journalists, researchers, jurists and human rights activists. It includes every kind of direct attacks against journalists and digital citizens (murders, imprisonment, assault, threats, etc.) or against the media (censorship, confiscation, searches and harassment etc.).

World Rank:
12/180

Source: World Press Freedom Index, Reporters Without Borders

 

Indicator of Political Freedom

Definition:

The Indicator of Political Freedom provides an annual evaluation of the state of freedom in a country as experienced by individuals. The survey measures freedom according to two broad categories: political rights and civil liberties. The ratings process is based on a checklist of 10 political rights questions (on Electoral Process, Political Pluralism and Participation, Functioning of Government) and 15 civil liberties questions (on Freedom of Expression, Belief, Associational and Organizational Rights, Rule of Law, Personal Autonomy and Individual Rights). Scores are awarded to each of these questions on a scale of 0 to 4, where a score of 0 represents the smallest degree and 4 the greatest degree of rights or liberties present. The total score awarded to the political rights and civil liberties checklist determines the political rights and civil liberties rating. Each rating of 1 through 7, with 1 representing the highest and 7 the lowest level of freedom, corresponds to a range of total scores.

Ranking:
Free
Political Freedom:
1/7

Political freedom in the world (interactive map)
Source: Freedom in the World Report, Freedom House

 

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Latest Update: May 2022

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