Chris van Egeraat and Seán Ó Ríordáin have made far too much of the Local Government Bill, which is a very weak and ineffectual piece of legislation derived, in turn, from the foregoing Action Programme for Effective Local Government, an appallingly inept document which goes nowhere near doing what it says on the tin. To discuss the Local Government Bill on its own terms is to allow ourselves to become enmeshed in minor issues of the kind which have dominated the so-called “debate” on local government reform in Ireland over the last 50 years. This plays right into the hands of those powerful and entrenched forces which are profoundly opposed to meaningful reform in this area. Continue reading
National Parliaments in the European Integration Process: finally learning to play the European game’ in the aftermath of the Lisbon Treaty reforms and the EU economic crisis?
When? 6th and 7th of December 2013
Where? European Parliament Offices, Dublin. 43 Molesworth Street, Dublin 2
I present the third opinion piece in context of the debate on Local Government Reform, organised by the Regional Studies Association – Irish Branch.
The package of proposals contained in the Local Government Bill, 2013, the Report of the Local Electoral Area Boundary Committee and the Final Report of the Local Government/Local Development Alignment Steering Group, taken in conjunction with the introduction of the Residential Property Tax and the incorporation of enterprise development bodies in local government represent the most significant set of local government reforms articulated by an Irish government since the introduction of the city/county manager system.
Brendan O’Keeffe (Mary Immaculate College, University of Limerick)
A reformed local government system in Ireland has a key role to play in promoting territorial development and competitiveness. Earlier this year, Ireland’s LEADER Partnerships undertook extensive and in-depth consultation with citizens in several counties. As a result, and following liaison with the European Commission, OECD and academic experts, they advanced a policy document that detailed how both local government and local development in Ireland should be strengthened and mutually re-enforcing. This policy position paper has been endorsed by several public representatives and was formally launched by Ireland South MEP, Phil Prendergast in June. Continue reading
The Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government launched his reform proposals to generally underwhelming degrees of debate on the 12th October 2012 and a year later the Oireachtas is considering these reforms with the Local Government Bill 2013. (See here)
Updated: I've updated the charts and figures to reflect a couple of changes. Firstly, a small number (<10) of MPs were attributed to the wrong party, due to an error in scraping from Tweetminster - that's now fixed. Secondly, I was inadvertently excluding any think tank followed only by one party - they're now back in. The results change very little.
Post on behalf of Joe Mulholland
The papers presented at the 2013 MacGill Summer School are now available to read (see here).
For several years now, and especially since the sudden and brutal fall of the Celtic Tiger, the MacGill School has focussed on reform of the institutions of the state – political, social and economic. With webcasting and the sterling work of our colleagues in broadcasting and the press, this message goes far beyond the conference hall. As has been pointed out many times at MacGill, radical reform of our politics and governance in general has to be a priority if we are not to have recurring crises of the kind we are living painfully through at this time and it has to come from the bottom up. Continue reading