Tithe an Oireachtais
An Comhchoiste um Ghnóthaí Eorpacha
An tAonú Tuarascáil Déag
Tuarascáil ar Imirce
Measúnú Tosaigh ar Staid Oibrithe Imirceacha an
Aontais Eorpaigh in Éirinn i ndiaidh 2004
Houses of the Oireachtas
Joint Committee on European Affairs
Report on Migration
An Initial Assessment of the Position of European Union
Migrant Workers in Ireland post 2004
Joint Committee on European Affairs
Report on Migration
An Initial Assessment of the Position of
European Union Migrant Workers in Ireland Post 2004
Single Department to take responsibility for Immigration and Integration 4
Nature of Integration 5
Experience in other countries 7
Areas of policy to be co-ordinated by designated Department 8
Identity Cards 9
ANNEX 1 – Report on Position of EU Migrant Workers in Ireland, March 2006 12
ANNEX 2 - List of Members 32
ANNEX 3 - Orders of Reference 33
The free movement of workers and the wider migration issue is one of the main issues facing
the European Union, particularly following the most recent enlargement, and in advance of
the accession of Bulgaria and Rumania.
The Committee has included immigration as part of its programme of work and is prioritising
attendance at relevant conferences and visits to States directly impacted upon by this issue.
The Committee has also heard from a wide range of Departments and groups on this matter in
In advance of further consideration of the issue, an interim report on inward migration from
the Member States which joined in 2004 has been agreed by the Committee.
Following its visits and further consideration of the issues involved, the Committee intends to
finalise its report. However, even the study to date led the Committee to the conclusion that
the administrative arrangements in place to co-ordinate migration-related issues is
inadequate. The interim report contains a number of recommendations that the Committee
believes would improve the situation, both administratively and for everyone concerned.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank the officials and groups who assisted in the
work of the Committee in this regard.
John Deasy T.D.
Chairman of the Joint Committee
5th April 2006
The Joint Oireachtas Committee on European Affairs has spent a number of months
studying immigration into Ireland. The second part of this current report deals
specifically with the issue of immigration from the Accession Countries. The work
which the Committee has done, plus other information which is coming into the
public domain, has brought home to members the importance of this development
for this country, now and in the future.
The Committee makes a number of specific recommendations related to current
issues. However, it wishes to introduce what will be a series of reports by a review
of the political and administrative structures required.
Single Department to take responsibility for Immigration and
The Joint Oireachtas Committee on European Affairs believes the immigration and
the rate of population change is a major issue for the country and that it should be
given a political priority which reflects this. The Joint Oireachtas Committee on
European Affairs believes that the decision of the government to allow access to the
labour market to workers from the new member states of the European Union was
the correct one, and has had a beneficial result. However, the numbers coming to
Ireland, from these, and other, countries, has been greater than expected, and
requires increased administrative and political attention.
The Committee is of the view that a single government department should be
given overall responsibility for immigration and integration.
Other European countries face the social, economic and cultural repercussions of
large-scale immigration, but there is no other country which has had to deal with
this unprecedented level of change. But the fact that other countries have handled
this problem – well or badly – allows Ireland to be pro-active and to learn from
The Committee believes that the issues posed by current levels of immigration are
profound. The nature of Irish society is being altered, and this change is too
important to be allowed happen without conscious recognition of the changes taking
place and their long term impact both on the country and on the newcomers.
Current projections about immigration are based on the extrapolation of existing
trends – that if no one does anything, immigration will continue at current rates.
However, this does beg a number of important questions:
If current economic growth rates are not sustainable, and there is a downturn
in employment – what should happen? Should those who have worked here
for a number of years be expected to return to their countries of origin or
would it make sense that they should be maintained here, with appropriate
levels of social support, until there is an upswing? Is it correct that skills,
taught here, should be lost – or is it better to save on the interim cost of
The growth in population is increasing wealth, but also has a price in
increased congestion, higher density of housing, higher demands on services.
What is the appropriate trade off?
In the submissions to the Joint Oireachtas Committee on European Affairs so
far, immigration has been treated purely as an economic issue. There are a
number of organisations and NGO’s working with migrants to help and
support them, but this is inevitably in a fragmented way.
In its work the Joint Oireachtas Committee on European Affairs has not been able to
trace the lines of responsibility among government departments for the different
aspects of immigration and integration. The Committee has come to the conclusion
that a structure to research, plan and provide support for immigrants should be put
in place urgently
This is a crucial time for policy and planning. Immigration has the potential to
create in Ireland an exciting, young, highly-skilled and outward looking society,
where wealth is created for the benefit of all, and where the contribution of each
member of society is recognised and cherished. But such a fundamental change in
society needs to be planned for, and it needs to be done on a democratic basis, where
the views of all are respected. If this phase is neglected or mishandled there is risk
of social alienation and wasted lives.
Nature of Integration
The integration of immigrants is an immensely complex subject. Active help with
integration is particularly important for those who come from cultures most
different to that of the host country – but those differences can be religious; urban-
rural; different attitudes to family or to gender; different relations with the state or
civil society. Integration can also be dependent on the attitude of the host country,
or the size or disposition of the migrant community. Some Irish immigrants to the
UK have remained a separate group, with discrete problems – yet they came to the
UK speaking the language, ethnically similar and Christian.
A comparison of the way in which immigration and integration is dealt with in
different EU countries shows an extraordinary array of understandings of
citizenship, ethnicity, integration, multi-culturalism. For instance in Finland, Ingrian
Finns, previously living in the former Soviet Union, have been able to obtain
residence permits only on the basis of their ethnic background. In Ireland on the
other hand, citizenship has until recently been a matter of birth only.
The academic literature distinguishes between three different objectives for the
integration of immigrants:1
• The first is the multicultural model, which is based on the respect and
protection of cultural diversity and aims at explicitly guaranteeing the
identity of the immigrant community. The United Kingdom would
consider itself to aspire to this model, although it now seems to be
reviewing its success.2
• The second one, the assimilationist model is based on the complete
assimilation of the immigrant into the dominant, traditional national values
and perceived common identity. France is the classic example of this
• Finally, there is the separation or exclusionist model, which is characterised
by restrictive and rigid immigration legislation and policies. In this context,
‘rigid’ refers mainly to the legal conditionality that must be satisfied in order
to have access to and reside in the territory. It consists of policies aimed at
artificially maintaining the temporary character of an immigrant’s
Therefore for Ireland to bring about the integration of immigrants will require for
the first time, real efforts to articulate a comprehensive regime of rights and
obligations for potential Irish citizens. This will mean a definition of what it actually
means to be Irish. The ‚grandmother‛ rule may be advantageous for national sport
teams, but raises issues of ethnicity.
There are some other cultures which have a presence in Ireland which see a value in
not integrating, in maintaining customs and practice traditional where they
originate. Is that acceptable? Who is to say?
Irish society itself is changing as wealth increases, as emigration ends, with the
impact of sudden, large scale immigration, because of its openness to the forces of
globalization, and because of the reducing role of other traditional pillars such as the
1 The section relies on A Comparison of Integration Programmes in the EU. Sergio Carrera CEPS, Brussels
2 2 Le Monde 11th November 2005. Interview with Trevor Phillips, Director of UK Commission on
Catholic Church, political parties etc. Previous definitions, implicit or explicit of
‚Irishness‛ were often rejected as narrow and backward looking. Self-image related
to emigration and poverty, none of which now applies. But a new self-image has not
been crafted. In the light of a new relationship with Northern Ireland, with the
United Kingdom, with the European Union, what it means to be Irish needs re-
definition. The recent referendum on citizenship began that debate, but a question
to which the only possible answer was ‚yes‛ or ‚no‛ could not represent the width
of debate which is needed.
To what should migrants assimilate when many Irish people are currently uncertain
about what it means to be Irish? The publication of a government white paper on
integration would be a useful contribution to what needs to be a wide debate.
Experience in other countries
Other European countries have had different experiences with immigration. Former
colonial powers have a longer tradition of immigration from those colonies: United
Kingdom, France, Netherlands. A second group which recruited ‚guest workers‛
has more recent experience: Austria, Belgium, Germany, Luxembourg, Sweden,
while Greece, Italy, Spain, Portugal had subsequent waves of immigration. Only
Ireland and Finland have the experience of such recent large immigration.
There are major differences between European countries in their understanding of
ethnicity and citizenship. It is possible for instance, in Germany, to become a
German citizen – but not to become a German. Germany was prepared to accept
responsibility for populations of Germans who had settled outside Germany
centuries ago (e.g. Volga Germans), although they would not have met conventional
citizenship requirements. Similar situations arose with the re-settlement of Greeks
from around the Black Sea, or Portuguese colonists, who were brought back to the
‚mother country‛ in spite of the fact that their families had spent generations
abroad. The decision to accept and promote the migration of these groups required
clear definitions of ethnicity.
The way in which other countries deal with immigrants varies, but is mostly
extremely structured. Some countries, such as Denmark and the Netherlands, have
one-on-one written contracts between the newcomer and the authorities (in most
cases the local authorities.) These will include a considerable number of hours of
language teaching and introduction to local customs and political traditions.
Participation in these programmes is an essential step on the road to ‚secure judicial
status‛. These programmes are aimed at migrants from countries or cultures most
dissimilar to that of the host country. The exempted groups are usually, among
others, EU/EEA nationals, immigrants in possession of a short-term work permit,
long-term settled immigrants, highly skilled workers, scientists and professors,
students, researchers and asylum seekers. The new Dutch legislation explicitly
exempts nationals from the US, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, Japan, etc.
Areas of policy to be co-ordinated by designated Department
Ireland has, compared to some other countries, a comprehensive body of legislation
in the Employment Equality Act 1998 and the Equal Status Act 2000. There is a
National Action Plan Against Racism, which according to the chair of the steering
committee of the National Action Plan Against Racism, ‚...is used as a model in
The decision to nominate a Department to have clear overall responsibility in this
area would be in itself a political statement of the importance of this issue in the
political system. It will need to co-ordinate with other Departments. For instance:
The Department of Health is being impacted by the growth in the population
and the demand for services, the implications of having an (even) more
internationally mobile population, and changing public health demands
relating to e.g. vaccination programmes in countries of origin.
The Department of Education and Science is already putting in place
programmes for language tuition at primary level. However, the change in
makeup of the school going population has and will continue to have major
implications for the whole educational community: the school is the first
socialization experience for children and, in certain, circumstances for their
parents. Planning is required because relations between parents, teachers and
students are affected by language barriers; curricula will need major review;
increased training for teachers dealing with students for whom English is not
a first language is imperative. At third level, there will be greater pressure to
establish a system for the recognition of external qualifications. Current
problems about the application of the free fees system must be dealt with
urgently, or second-level students where there is uncertainty will be de-
The role of the arts in the definition/re-definition of an Irish culture is crucial.
The written or spoken word has been a particular feature of Irish society, but
music has managed to reach out across the world and has the potential to be a
powerfully integration medium. While artistic endeavour is not a role for
government, government has a responsibility to provide the appropriate
3 Irish Times 13th March 2006
Tourism is both a cause and result of the increasingly diverse Ireland. Irish
cities have become livelier and more diverse – but are they now the same as
every place else?
The role of the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment is discussed
in other parts of this report. Its functions relate to skill-shortages, the role of
Fás and the policing of employment legislation. In spite of increases in
capacity, it is clear that further expansion of its services are essential as well as
co-ordination with other services.
Anti-racism programmes already exist, but need to become a greater political
priority. The transfer of responsibility for these programmes to the newly
nominated Department of Immigration and Integration will send a strong
signal that racism will not be tolerated.
An appropriate housing policy is essential for the successful integration of
migrants. Immigrants will wish to be near other family members, if feasible,
and to stay part of a network which re-enforces their cultural identity, as well
as having shops etc which supply goods and services with which they are
familiar. On the other hand, ghettos are easy to create and detrimental to the
integration of newcomers. The implementation of the Spatial Strategy will
make an important contribution to a proactive integration policy.
Issues relating to data are dealt with in the second part of this report, and the Joint
Committee has made recommendations. But Ireland has yet to consider the
introduction of identity cards and the implications of a full tracking system are
profound. The kind of identity card system which exists in other EU countries would
require an enormous change in attitude and administrative response here. It would
also meant the introduction of identity checks at Dublin Airport or Newry given that
the Republic of Ireland shares a common travel area with the United Kingdom and
would be a major step.
Efforts are underway to improve the co-ordination of different public service
identity requirements.4 However, recent evidence5 given by the Secretary General of
the Department of Social and Family Affairs has made clear that the system of PPS
numbers is no longer appropriate. The system was established by the Revenue
Commissioners for their purposes, taken over and adapted by the DSFA for its
purposes – and is now use e.g. for driving licenses! An initial study by the newly
nominated Department might certainly consider whether the PPS number system
4 Reply of Minister for Social and Family Affairs to PQ 31523/05
5 Proceedings of Public Accounts Committee 2nd March 2006
should not become a stand alone system, and incorporated with the Revenue system
and Garda immigration information, rather than being tweaked to meet differing
needs at different times.
The Joint Oireachtas Committee on European Affairs considers that clear
responsibility to support social and economic integration of immigrants should
be given to one government department.
This Department should, as a matter of urgency, deal with the following:
Ongoing efforts to coordinate information are crucial and should be
undertaken with as much speed as possible.
Irish agencies should be asked to work even more closely with the
governments of the sending countries, to publicise the appropriate
routes for finding jobs in Ireland, and restricting the activities of
unscrupulous or careless employment agencies
There should be greater cooperation and coordination between the
bodies involved in inspecting and enforcing the range of legislation
already enacted to protect workers’ rights.
A study should be made of the possibility of establishing a network of
‚drop-in centres‛ for migrants.
ANNEX 1 – Report on Position of EU Migrant Workers in Ireland,
Legislative Background 13
Identity of Migrants 15
Issues with Data 16
Managed Migration 19
Role of Fás 19
Role of Employment Agencies 21
Reception of migrant workers 21
Protection of Rights 21
Provision of Services 23
Habitual Residence 23
Implications for Country of Origin 28
Issues for Irish economy 28
The Joint Oireachtas Committee on European Affairs believes that the issues around
inward migration are of crucial importance to the social and economic future of this
country. Because free movement is the cornerstone of the European Union and one
of the fundamental conditions of membership, it is a subject which the Committee is
well placed to deal with.
Ireland has moved from being a country of emigration to one of immigration within
a generation. Therefore there are many who can understand the challenges facing
immigrants, and are concerned about their future welfare. On the other hand, there
are very few countries which have experienced such rapid growth in inward
migration and this country must now respond rapidly and effectively to put in place
appropriate procedures and systems.
The Joint Oireachtas Committee on European Affairs is undertaking a substantial
review of the issues around inward migration. The subject is extensive, information
flows are disjointed and circumstances are changing. Therefore, it was decided to
start with a preliminary report on inward migration from the countries which joined
the European Union in May 20004. This is particularly important because the first
review of the transitional measures for opening up the labour markets of the EU15 is
due to take place in April, and the Committee wishes to be in a position to take a
comprehensive over-view of the issues.
The Joint Oireachtas Committee on European Affairs plans to undertake study visits
to European states of particular relevance to this area of its work. The production of
this Report is part of the Committee’s preparations to ensure that they are in a
position to use the opportunities provided by these visits. The Committee will also
be exploring the issue of free access for other nationals to the labour markets of the
existing member states.
Further reports will be produced on issues such as work permits, trafficking in
humans, bonded labour etc.
Ten new member states joined the European Union on 1st April 2004. There is a
disparity in income per head between the older members and many of the newer
members – the so-called Accession States. There were concerns about labour
migration from the Accession States, and for this reason 12 older member states
have introduced ‚transitional restrictions‛ on the movement of those seeking work
from the new member states. The restrictions only apply to eight of the ten
countries, because Malta and Cyprus have been exempted.
The United Kingdom allows the free movement of workers, but opted for a
compulsory workers’ registration scheme. In this case, the worker must prove that a
job is available. Sweden offered full access to workers, and Ireland offered full
access to the jobs market, but very restricted access to any form of social welfare
support. Access to support is based on a Habitual Residence Condition.
This transitional period will last a maximum of seven years, during which the EU15
may maintain their respective national rules or bi- and multilateral agreements with
regard to their labour markets. Under the so-called ‚2+3+2‛ decision, all EU15
apply national measures between 2004 and 2006. Following a non-binding review by
the Commission of the European labour market situation in 2006, each old member
state will have the right to either continue to apply its national measures, or to adopt
the relevant EU provisions. By 2009, all national measures relating to labour market
access should be phased out, except in cases where the unrestricted movement of
labour might cause any kind of disturbance in the local labour market. By 2011 all
transitional measures should be eliminated.
The European Commission has recently published its report1 on the working of the
transitional arrangements. It finds no evidence of a surge in either numbers of
workers or welfare expenditure following enlargement, compared to the previous
two years. New Member State (EU10) nationals represented less than 1% of the
working age population in all countries except Austria (1.4% in 2005) and Ireland
(3.8% in 2005). EU10 workers alleviated skills bottlenecks, and had a much lower
percentage of unskilled workers than the national equivalent.
In particular the Report makes the point
There is no evidence to show a direct link between the magnitude of mobility flows
from EU10 Member States and the Transitional Arrangements in place. Ultimately,
mobility flows are driven by factors related to supply and demand conditions. If
anything, Transitional Arrangements will only delay labour market adjustments,
with the risk of creating ‚biased‛ destination patterns even on a more permanent
It seems likely that when the Transitional Arrangements are reviewed in April that
Spain and Finland will lift the barriers. France, Italy, the Netherlands, Denmark and
Portugal are undecided, while Austria and Germany are unlikely to change.2
1 COM(2006) 48 final. Report on the Functioning of the Transitional Arrangements set out in the 2003
Accession Treaty (period 1 May 2004–30 April 2006)
2 Financial Times 10th February 2006
Identity of Migrants
The Joint Oireachtas Committee on European Affairs is continuing its work on the
data available, and seeking to increase its comprehensiveness. However, in outline
o Over the period 2000 to 2005, over 100,000 persons from outside the EEA1
came to Ireland for employment purposes.
o Employers are expected to procure their labour requirements from within the
EEA; new work permits, for workers from outside the EEA, are now confined
to highly skilled/highly paid positions. Reflecting these changes the number
of new permits issued in the nine months to end September 2005 was just in
excess of 6000. This compares with a figure of 22,000 for 2003, the year
immediately prior to enlargement.2
o According to the CSO figures for Q4 of 2005, there are 159,300 non-nationals
in employment, representing 8% of total employment, which is towards the
top end of the range in the European Union. There were 61,600 workers from
the Accession States in employment in Ireland, up from 28,100 in Q4 2004.
Those from the Accession States account for 36% of non- Irish national
workers in Q4 2005, compared to 22% for the same period a year earlier.
o Non-national workers are fairly evenly distributed by sector, with about 9%
of the workforce in the construction industry made up of non-nationals. This
appears to be about the international standard. Of that 9% approximately
half are from the Accession States. The sector with the highest number of
non-national workers is the hotel and restaurant sector, representing 19.2% of
the workforce. Approximately a quarter of the non-national workers are
from Asia. 3
o Those who entered the country are overwhelmingly in the 15 to 44 age group,
with very few over 65. According to the overall immigration figures, 6,500
under 15 year olds arrived. (A yearly addition of this number to the school-
going, or potential school-going, cohort is a significant challenge to service
o The figures in the 25 to 64 age group are 2:1 males to females, which also has
1 The EU 25+Norway, Iceland, Lichtenstein
2 These figures are taken from a submission by the Irish government to the European Commission Lisbon Agenda: Integrated Guidelines for Growth and Jobs National Reform
Programme, Ireland, October 2005
3This treatment of the figures is taken from Non-National Workers in the Irish Economy, published by
AIB Global Treasury Economic Research.
Since 1st May 2004, nationals of the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia,
Lithuania, Slovakia, Slovenia and Poland, wishing to take up employment in the
United Kingdom are required to register with the WRS (Worker Registration
System). This registration provides national authorities with reliable data on labour
market trends and also on the main type of occupation workers took up in the UK.
Registrations are tracked and published quarterly in Accession Monitoring Report. A
joint online report by the Home Office, the Department for Work and Pensions, the HM
Revenue & Customs and the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister1
Information is available classified under the following headings
Nationality of applicants
PROFILE OF REGISTERED WORKERS
Age and Gender of registered workers
Dependants of registered workers
Sectors in which registered workers are employed
Occupations in which registered workers are employed
Registered workers’ hours of work and wages
Proportion of registered workers in temporary/permanent employment
Geographical distribution of registered workers
Geographical distribution of registered workers by sector
Nationality of registered workers by sector
NATIONAL INSURANCE NUMBERS
National Insurance Numbers allocated and purpose of allocation
National Insurance Number applications by region
Applications for tax-funded, income-related benefits
Nationality of applicants for tax-funded, income-related benefits
Applications for tax-funded, income-related benefits by region
Applications for Child Benefit
Applications for Tax Credits
HOUSING AND HOMELESSNESS SUPPORT
Local Authority Lettings
ANNEX A All occupations in which registered workers are employed
Issues with Data
Because it is just 18 months since enlargement, information on workers from central
Europe and the Baltics is only beginning to become available. The absence of data
has posed problems for a number of state agencies, and considerable efforts have
been made to devise new systems to capture information. It should be pointed out
1 Available at http://www.ind.homeoffice.gov.uk
that Ireland does not register travellers at the point of entry, nor has it any kind of
identity card system. This means that information must be captured in a series of
snapshots over time, such as the Quarterly Household Survey which is carried out
by the Central Statistics Office.1
On registering for tax, personal details provided to the Revenue Commissioners are
recorded on a Common Registration system(CRS). The CRS is a central database
for personal details that other tax databases/applications link to. The personal
details included on that system are the basic name and address details, date of birth
and date of registration. Although nationality is requested on the registration forms,
the CRS does not take that data.
The Revenue Commissioners, the Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform,
the Garda Shiochana and the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment are
all involved in various stages of the identity certification. They hold identity data
about a person from the point of entry to the State, the holding of a work permit and
where relevant, the date of deportation. The Immigration Act 2003 provides for the
exchange of information between ‚information holders‛ in relation to non-nationals.
On the other hand the Department of Social and Family Affairs has included a
nationality classification on their systems since mid-2000 and they update the
nationality record on their system on an ongoing basis2. They provide information
on a regular basis to the Revenue Commissioners. This can be used for verification
but cannot be used by the Revenue Commissioners themselves to group the
customer base. So while it is possible on an historical basis to see how many of
those to whom new PPS numbers were issued actually entered the workforce and
paid tax, this cannot be done in real time. Efforts are being made in a number of
different working groups, to improve the sharing of data. 3
Some of the difficulties associated with the different data streams are dealt with in a
Fás Survey.4 They deal with the number of PPSNs issued, compared to the number
of workers from the Accession States showing up in the CSO Survey.
1The Joint Oireachtas Committee on European Affairs is grateful to the Director and members of staff
of the CSO who attended a meeting of the Committee and provided useful information.
Because the data provided by the CSO is survey based, there is always the possibility of error in the
figures. However, they do indicate trends and orders of magnitude.
2 The Department of Family and Social Affairs is responsible for allocating Personal Public Service
Number. (PPSN). This is the unique number which is used for accessing public services including
taxation, social welfare and eg driving licences.
3 See also evidence given to the PAC ……………………
4 FÁS Quarterly Labour Market Commentary Third Quarter 2005
In the twelve months ending in April 2005, just over 83,000 new numbers were
issued to EU10 nationals. However, 36,000 migrants appeared in the Survey figures.
The difference is explained by the different concepts behind the figures:
An immigrant, by the CSO definition, is someone who was resident in the country
as at April 2005 who had not been resident 12 months earlier. Thus only EU10
nationals who enter the country during the year and remain resident at the end of
the year are counted as immigrants.
By contrast, the PPSN data relate to all allocations of new numbers to EU10
nationals, regardless of how long the person visits the country for (or indeed
whether the person enters the country at all). Thus, of the 83,000 persons referred to
above for whom PPSNs had been issued in the year to April:-
o Based on ‚commencement of employment‛ returns from employers, only
about two-thirds (55,000) were known to have actually taken up a job in
Ireland by the end of April.
o Based on a partial analysis of P35 forms for 20041 (completed by
employers at end-December to update the social contributions of
employees) many of those who do take up employment remain here only
for relatively short periods. (These would include, for example, students
and others coming specifically for seasonal employment, or persons who
fail to find the kind of work and conditions they had hoped for and decide
to return to their home country). The rate of turnover indicated in the P35s
suggests that less than half of those who took up employment over the
twelve months were still working in the country at the end of the period.
o Some of the discrepancies may be due to the fact some of those for whom
PPSNs were allocated over the year may have been present in the country
for some time previously and decided to avail of the opportunity,
presented by the accession of their home countries to the EU, to regularise
Clearly as time goes on, and information becomes comparable year on year, the
situation will improve. Nonetheless, the Joint Oireachtas Committee on European
Affairs is concerned about the difficulty in obtaining immediate and comparable
data about inward migration.
In the absence of data, migrants from the Accession States become almost invisible
in society. The risk then is that public attention is drawn to the problem cases, or
1See also the information provide to the Committee by Mr Brian O’Raghallaight on 3 rd November
when the willingness of migrant workers to work for low wages is used as an
instrument against Irish workers.
The real problem with the lack of data is that it is extremely difficulty to get a
picture of the overwhelming majority who are working hard, making money fairly
and paying taxes, supporting families, increasing their work and language skills and
making a success of their career choice.
There are major issues for Ireland to deal with in seeking to attract migrant labour
and benefit from it in a way which is beneficial both for the immigrant and for the
country. But a perception which might be gaining ground that inward migration is
all problematic distorts the true picture and is creating a barrier to appropriate
The Joint Oireachtas Committee on European Affairs is grateful to the officials from
different government departments who have supplied the Committee with
information on migration. It has been made aware of ongoing efforts to coordinate
The Committee believes that this is an essential task and should be undertaken with
as much speed as possible.
The Department of Enterprise Trade and Employment has responsibility for the
development of the labour market and for Employment Rights.
Role of Fás
The structured side of inward migration from the Accession States (and others) is
managed by Fás, the state training and employment authority. Fás works through
EURES which is the Public Employment Services of the European Union and the
European Economic Area.
According to its website:
EURES - European Employment Services - is a cooperation network designed
to facilitate the free movement of workers within the European Economic
Area; Switzerland is also involved. Partners in the network include public
employment services, trade union and employers' organisations. The network
is coordinated by the European Commission.
The main objectives of EURES are:
to inform, guide and provide advice to potentially mobile workers on
job opportunities as well as living and working conditions in the
European Economic Area;
to assist employers wishing to recruit workers from other countries;
to provide advice and guidance to workers and employers in cross-
EURES offers a comprehensive website which is available to employers and those
seeking work. It offers useful and practical information, and a very valuable list of
contact addresses, to anyone seeking to move across borders.
Companies with vacancies to fill approach Fás. If Fás is not aware of the skills
sought being available in Ireland, it will use its contacts on this network to post the
vacancies in other EU/EEA countries. It also provides advice, guidance and
counselling to migrant workers, including Irish workers seeking to work abroad.
Fás has signed a protocol with Latvia to ensure that everyone who intends migrating
to Ireland receives a structured counselling session through the state employment
Fás is currently organising 40 recruitment events per annum, in which Irish
employers will interview pre-selected workers in their country of origin. On the
occasion of these events, Fás will bring advisors who will ensure that each potential
migrant is fully briefed on the positive and negative aspects of working in Ireland.
Depending in the size of the event, these may include representatives of the
Revenue Commissioners and the Polish Migrant Centre. At an event in Poland last
year at which some 250 vacancies were to be filled, 11,000 turned up. These fairs
receive massive publicity locally.
Fás has a number of ‚EURES Advisors‛, regionally distributed who are directly
available to foreign job seekers with problems. It has introduced a telephone
interpretation service, so that anyone attending a Fás office, where there are
language difficulties can have instant access to interpretation by speaker phone.
Fás undertakes a wide information campaign in the countries of origin of the main
bodies of migrants on the slogan ‚Know before you go.‛ Each worker has access to
information and counselling, the employers are known to Fás and there is a back up
system if there are problems. Fás is also seeking to encourage its partners to
recognise potential migrants: ie someone who comes looking for a job when there is
none available locally, but who may subsequently decide to try their luck in Ireland.
However, the difficulty arises with those who don’t use the system. It was
interesting that the Migrants Rights Centre seemed not to network with Fás. This
may be explained by the fact that the function of Migrants Rights Centre is to help
support migrants who are encountering problems. Therefore, it seems likely that
anyone who has come through the Fás system is not ending up as a problem.
A facility in English is part of the pre-selection period.
Role of Employment Agencies
Problems are caused by poor employment practices including exploitation,
unprepared individuals and bad luck. However, a particular feature is the role of
employment agencies, both legal and illegal. If they are concerned only with
delivering numbers, less attention is paid to the suitability of the worker or the
reliability of the employer.
Some of the migrants encountering problems are workers who have answered ads
in local newspapers in their own country, paid a fee, and have been sent to Ireland
to a job which does not exist or where there is an employer who is not prepared to
respect the rights of the workers. There is a difficulty in dealing with this in
Lithuania in particular, because it has not signed the relevant ILO agreements, so
that it is still legal there to charge the job seeker.
Irish agencies should be asked to work even more closely with the governments of
the sending countries, to publicise the appropriate routes for finding jobs in Ireland,
and restricting the activities of unscrupulous or careless agencies
Reception of migrant workers
According to Fás, the biggest issues facing migrant workers is that their skills are
underused and that their qualifications are not recognised.
Important work is being undertaken on a European Qualifications Framework,
which is being implemented by the National Qualifications Authority of Ireland.
The continued internationalisation of education and migration patterns within
Europe mean that mutual trust in the quality of inputs and outputs from National
education and training systems is becoming more important.1
Protection of Rights
The Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment has responsibility for the
protection of workers’ rights. It operates
1 Consultation on the European Commission Proposal for a European Qualifications Framework for
Lifelong Learning, September / October 2005. Response to the National Qualifications Authority of
Ireland consultation procedure by Forfas,/IDA and Enterprise Ireland
o The Employment Rights Information Unit
The Unit operates an information service to answer enquiries. It deals with
personal callers, telephone callers and written correspondence. It also
provides leaflets etc on entitlements – in nine languages.
o The Labour Inspectorate
This has been substantially increased. It operates on the basis of investigation
of complaints and a mix of planned/targeted sectoral and random
inspections, throughout the country.
o Legal Services Unit.
This unit processes the enforcement of awards of both the Labour Court and
the Employment Appeals Tribunal through the Courts.
Where there are abuses, experience seems to indicate that it happens in a work place
where the majority of the workers are foreign. Redress is theoretically possible in eg
the case of underpayment or payments withheld, but the issue of record keeping
arises. If the employer has provided no payslip, it is difficult to prove
underpayment. Foreign workers have the same access to labour mechanisms as
Irish workers, and can complain to the Rights Commissioner. But the process can be
slow. For instance if a complaint is made to the Labour Inspectorate, it can take up to
eight months to process. Confusion can be caused if workers are not aware of their
rights, in addition to language difficulties.
What is striking is the reluctance of migrant workers to pursue claims against
employers. The Labour Relations Commission has published a study of the
experiences of migrant workers with disputes mechanism1. While a very high
proportion of the claims which go all the way are settled in favour of the claimant, a
significant number do not proceed all the way, even when the claimant has a very
strong case. (Admittedly, given the time when this report was compiled, it related
mainly to workers who were here on work permits and were very anxious to protect
that permit. All the same, the reluctance to pursue claims is remarkable.)
Anecdotal evidence shows a high proportion of anonymous ‚tip-offs‛, but little
enthusiasm to be named. It is not clear why workers, operating in a buoyant jobs
market, and with every right to be in Ireland are so slow to engage with the official
It is the view of the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment that there is a
very substantial body of legislation in existence to protect workers rights – and all
workers have access to the same level of protection. The different parties should
have closer links to ensure adequate, timely and effective enforcement of
1Migrant Workers and Access to the Statutory Dispute Resolution Agencies Labour Relations Commission
compliance. These bodies include the Labour Court, the Employment Appeals
Tribunal and the Rights Commissioner Service. The Revenue Commissioners and
the Department of Social and Family Affairs also have inspectorates.
The Joint Oireachtas Committee on European Affairs agrees with the view of the
Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment that there should be greater
cooperation and coordination between the bodies involved in inspecting and
enforcing the range of legislation already enacted to protect workers’ rights.
Provision of Services
The implications of the Habitual Residence Condition for the individual is that the
individual must be deemed to be habitually resident in order to qualify for social
assistance payments, including Child Benefit. The Habitual Residence Condition is
an additional condition to be satisfied, together with all the other conditions for
entitlement to payments for all applicants.
There are 5 criteria to establish the Habitual Residence Condition:
Length and continuity of residence;
Length and purpose of absence from Ireland;
Nature and pattern of the employment;
Applicant’s main centre of interest in Ireland;
Future intention of applicant.
While regular social payments are dependent on fulfilling these criteria,
Supplementary Welfare Allowance can be paid on a more discretionary basis. These
include rent supplement or an Exceptional Needs Payment. These payments are at
the discretion of the Community Welfare Officer. A worker who has already
worked in their country of origin and has acquired social welfare entitlements can
claim the payment of these entitlements in Ireland. However, currently the
processing of these claims can take months. Measures are being taken to speed this
An Exceptional Needs Payment will not be made to a newly arrived migrant, but a
different attitude will be taken with someone who has eg children at school, and
who can demonstrate an intention to remain even if the applicant does not meet the
Habitual Residence Condition.
While a large majority of the appeal cases concerning Habitual Residence Condition
are decided in favour of the applicant, the process can be slow, and the applicant
may have no means to fall back on. (Interestingly the group which fares worst are
those coming from the old EU, not including the UK. Irish people can also fail to
meet the Habitual Residence Condition. However, it is likely that the high success
rate for those from the Accession States is because many would already have been in
the country under the work permit scheme.) The Habitual Residence Condition is
invoked for each individual payment, so that there may be different outcomes for
the same person, under different headings. The Deciding Officer or the Community
Welfare Officer makes the decision, and outcomes may vary, including over time.
The real issue for the Welfare Services, is how to meet emergency needs for migrant
workers and their families, without admitting to long term entitlement.
The number and complexity of the claims which are referred to the Habitual
Residence Condition Unit of the Department of Social and Family Affairs has led to
a considerable backlog, although active steps are being taken to deal with it.
A November circular from the Department of Social and Family Affairs has relaxed
some of the conditions relating to Supplementary Welfare Allowance. (The
Department of Social and Family Affairs has issued a press release announcing the
publication of information for migrant workers, in a range of languages, on their
entitlements. It has not however published details of this change, or of another
change to entitlement to Child Benefit.1)
A common complaint across the entire system is the lack of transparency of rights.
A great deal left to the discretion of eg Community Welfare Officer, and it is difficult
ever to be certain of the outcome of an interaction.
The discretionary nature of the system has removed all transparency. The system
should be made more certain and less arbitrary.
A recent report on the use of homelessness services by nationals of the Accession
States2seeks to track a trend of increasing use of homeless services in Dublin,
including emergency accommodation and food services, by non-nationals –
particularly those from the new EU states. This research was based on a survey of
all outreach and food centres, a sample of emergency hostels, transitional and long-
term housing services and the majority of information and support services. The
1Irish Times 30th September 2005
2Away from Home and Homeless Quantification and profile of EU10Nationals using homeless services and
recommendations to address their needs. Homeless Agency 2005
Through these contacts we can estimate that during an average day in the month of
September in Dublin between 35 and 85 EU10 Nationals were using food centers; a
maximum of one or two EU10 Nationals were accommodated in hostels for homeless
people; approximately ten EU10 Nationals were met by outreach services for
homeless people and no EU10 Nationals were using transitional and long-term
housing services. Between 10 and 25 people who are without an income or homeless
met with information and support organisations during an average week, while
contact with statutory agencies is likely to have been very limited, with up to five
people being accommodated by the Reception and Integration Agency (RIA) at any
This would suggest that there are between 60 and 120 people from the EU10 states
seeking support from services for homeless people in Dublin in an average day in
The research indicates that for the overwhelming majority of EU10 Nationals using
homeless services, the problem is predominantly an income and employment issue.
92% (46 people) said that their primary reason for traveling to Ireland was ‘to find
work’ (the remaining 8% listed finding work as one of their reasons for traveling to
Ireland), and 96% said that either inability to find employment, loss of employment
or lack of money was the primary reason for their homelessness. None the less,
extreme hardship is experienced by some of these individuals, with over a third of
people having no source of income (only 20% were in full-time employment) and a
third of interviewees reported to be sleeping rough. In total 57% (28 people) using
homeless services considered themselves homeless. For the great majority this was
their first time homeless. However 10% (five people) had previous experience of
homelessness in their own country.
In the light of comments above it is worth noting the findings of the Report:
Interviewees’ level of preparation prior to coming to Ireland is very poor. People
mainly depended on word of mouth as their primary source of information. The
majority of people using homeless services had poor language skills (just 43% had a
working knowledge of English) and brought insufficient money with them to Ireland
(78% brought less than 500 euro). However level of education was generally high,
especially compared to the indigenous homeless population, with 87% of people
interviewed having finished second level or studying/ qualified to 3rd level.
Reasons for destitution and homelessness among EU10 Nationals in Ireland were
often be traced back to worker exploitation and the false promises of employment
agencies based in Poland and Ireland. Of those who were working or who had worked
in Ireland, the average hourly wage was 7.60 euro per hour (slightly below the
minimum wage of 7.65 euro per hour). 38% of those who gave details of their hourly
wage were paid below the minimum wage.
We found that there are a number of practical difficulties for the state agencies
working with homeless EU10 Nationals. The foremost difficulty is that the
Government’s main response to EU10 Nationals who fail to find work in Ireland is
an offer of return flights home but this is the option of final resort for the majority of
EU10 Nationals, and only a small number of them have chosen to take this option.
Many of the people from the EU10 states using homeless services are without income
and have few immediate prospects of finding work but nonetheless are refusing to
accept the Reception and Integration Agency’s service of a return flight home.
The recommendations in this Report relate to the application of the Habitual
Residence Condition rule
The most striking impact of the restriction on access to social payments, is the
ineligibility of those who do not meet the Habitual Residence Condition for Child
The Migrant Rights Centre Ireland is finding that migrant workers being refused
social assistance and emergency accommodation are being referred to them as there
is simply no other place for migrants to go once the statutory safety net, the SWA
system, is closed off. Referrals have been made by local DSFA offices and local
health centres that find their ability to meet need affected by the HRC.
It seems clear that there are few informal support networks for immigrants in these
categories. Referrals have also come from the embassies and consulates of the home
countries of the migrants, as they often cannot support their citizens1. National
embassies either do not see it as their function to support welfare cases, or do not
have the capacity. The only known centre is sponsored, perfectly correctly, by a
Many of the problems which are encountered are capable of easy resolution, but
given the lack of access to emergency payments and the problems with the cost of
accommodation in this country currently, someone who needs, for instance, to wait
a little while to change jobs or get social welfare payments from home etc., may find
themselves in a crisis. The report of the Homelessness Agency demonstrates this.
A similarity to the attitude of the Irish in Britain has been remarked on. Because
workers from the Accession Countries are free to go and come as they please, most
do not see themselves as settling in Ireland. They regard their stay as temporary. It
is workers who have come on a work permit system, or perhaps the high skills
worker from the Accession Countries who consider that they have made a
commitment to living in Ireland. However, experience with the Irish in Britain has
shown that this ‚temporary‛ status can last for a very long time, but the kind of long
term financial and other planning which should go with it does not happen.
Considerable efforts are being made to improve the support levels for migrants, on
the economic front. However, the Committee has not been able to find out which
agency has responsibility for the social integration of migrants. This is a serious gap.
In order to help solve this problem, and to help provide informal support to
migrants, the Joint Oireachtas Committee on European Affairs believes that it might
be possible to establish a network for semi-formal ‚drop-in centres‛ for migrants.
While the absence of data is a problem which should be worked on over time, it is
not necessary to have detailed information on every single migrant. However, the
provision of such a network would provide a focal point in different areas.
Information could be gained and shared on numbers, nationalities etc. The growth
of informal support groups could be fostered; information on exploitation or poor
work practices could be picked up and acted on. English language classes could be
Such a network need not be very resource heavy. Several centres would be
necessary in cities, but a centre open only for a day to two a week might be adequate
in smaller towns.
There are experienced people in the Irish system, who helped support the work
which was done with the Irish in Britain, who could help and advise on creating
such a system, and they should be requested to do so.
Given the unwillingness of migrants who have been exploited to seek redress, they
may find it easier to have recourse to such networks, which would be in a position
to blacklist poor employers, provide support and collect information. The cost
benefit of such a system would appear obvious.
Also immigrants who have succeeded in every material sense complain that their
greatest difficulty is integration. They find it difficult to make friends with Irish
people or to become part of Irish social networks, and are constantly thrown back on
expatriate circles. The pace of change in Ireland in recent years has been so rapid
that for many Irish people just ‚riding the wave‛ is a challenge and the capacity to
reach out and form new relationships and social links is difficult, but it would be
regrettable if this group of potential new Irish citizens became completely invisible.
Having a drop-in centre might help promote local initiatives.
The Joint Oireachtas Committee on European Affairs considers that clear
responsibility to support social and economic integration of immigrants should be
given to one government agency.
The Joint Oireachtas Committee on European Affairs believes that a study should be
made of the possibility of establishing a network of ‚drop-in centres‛ for migrants.
Implications for Country of Origin
It is probably too soon to begin to make judgments on the impact of outward
migration on the countries of origin. It seems likely that some people might apply
for PPS numbers, but do not come to Ireland. It is also likely that many who come,
return home after a short period. For instance, some of the recruitment, including
through Fás, is deliberately seasonal, eg in horticulture or for the Christmas trade, so
those who come return home fairly rapidly with some extra spending money.
But there is concern in the Accession States at a perceived brain drain and the
President of the Polish Confederation of Private Employers has welcomed the
restrictions imposed by many of the EU15 because of fear of massive emigration.
‚While she believes that it would not be beneficial for Poles to gain some
work experience abroad, she fears a brain drain to the West if economic
conditions do not improve in Poland.‛1
So far economic conditions have improved only slightly. Unemployment in Poland
is at 19% and around 10% in Latvia and Lithuania. There is also fear that not only
are they loosing skills, but they are loosing young people and the demographic
profile will deteriorate.
Issues for Irish economy
The economic theory of migration is that its benefits to the host country are short
term. The economy as a whole grows because of the increased economic activity,
but GDP per head does not grow because the increased wealth is divided among an
increased number of people. The increased wealth is rapidly consumed because of
the need to provide more services to the immigrants, such as health care, housing
1 Euractive Interview 17th August 2004
etc. Therefore immigration is not an alternative to ongoing improvement of the
quality of the domestic labour supply.
That is not to say that some individuals benefit from migration, including those who
can earn higher wages in the host country than at home or individuals in certain
industries. Also if particular skill bottle necks can be eased by importing skills, that
is a real benefit.
The CSO Population and Labour Force Projections 2006-2036 estimates that for the
period up to 2011, net migration will be in the region of 100,000 to 150,000
depending on the level of economic growth, ie somewhere between 15,000 and
25,000 per annum.
According to Fás1, inward migration will be at a rate of 50,000 to 70,00 per annum
for the next five years. Allowing for emigration to continue at a rate of 15,000 per
annum, that is a net migration of 35,000 to 55,000 per annum
Projections of future needs for migrant workers are arrived at by a number of routes.
The CSO provides a possible number, effectively by determining a number of
economic scenarios and estimating the likely labour force requirements. By
calculating the Irish labour force, an assumption is made that the difference will be
made up by immigrant labour. However, this is done on the basis of extrapolating
existing trends – it is not based on a review of alternative policy options.
The Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment has laid out its policy in
relation to the development of the labour market in its Programme for the Lisbon
Process.2 However, little mention is made of migration in this report.
in order to ensure that labour market policy contributes to making the economy more
knowledge based and innovation driven Ireland will focus in particular on two major
o ensuring and adequate supply of labour to meet the needs of the economy and
to sustain economic growth. Labour will be supplied through a number of
sources: the underlying population increase; increased participation by the
unemployed and those outside the labour force (including Lone parent,
Travellers and people with a disability), and migration
A list of measures to improve labour market functioning is included in this report to
the European Commission. Workers from within the EU are entitle to the same
2Lisbon Agenda. Integrated Guidelines for Growth and Jobs. National Reform Programme Ireland. October
conditions – including access to training etc, as Irish workers. But no particular
measures are envisaged for planning for workers, or for their integration.
In so far as the Report deals with numbers of migrant workers, it restates the CSO
figures, which are an extrapolation of existing trends. Apart from that, reference is
made only to the administrative work permit arrangements and says the
‚provide new and increase protections for migrant workers‛
The policy role of the Department for the labour market appears to relate only to a
‚skills based migration policy.‛
The Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment asked the Expert Group on
Future Skills Needs
(i) To produce a document outlining current and ongoing skills shortages in
key sectors of the Irish economy;
(ii) To identify where such skills may be sourced;
(iii)To contribute to the development of an appropriate skills-based
economic migration policy in conjunction with DETE.
The Report Skills Needs in the Irish Economy: The Role of Migration was published in
October 2005. A chapter in this report deals with ‚Policy Options and Models to
Regulate Migration.‛ The Group is of the view that
Economic immigration should make a positive contribution to Irish society
and the Irish economy
Economic migration policy must be:
o Reactive to the labour market;
o User friendly;
o Facilitative of integration;
o Cognisant of all interests; and
Managed economic migration is of benefit to the Irish Economy.
Migration alone is not a sustainable long-term solution to skills shortages.
The primary policy objective of Government should be the upskilling of the
resident population at all levels.
The Report provides a comprehensive overview of labour market requirements for
the highly skilled and steps to be taken to meet them. It does not however deal with
the overall impact on either economy or society of large scale inward migration.
A highly significant social change is taking place in a manner which appears lacking
in transparency. Some labour market policies are driving some aspects of
immigration policy, but data is captured retrospectively.
While the Joint Oireachtas Committee on European Affairs has had the benefit of
valuable advice from a number of the Government Departments involved, it relates
to an attempt to capture what is happening rather than put in place provision in
advance. This is not to underestimate the difficulty in forward planning, given the
entitlements to free movement of EU workers and the difficulty in projecting flows.
But given that immigrant workers are just as likely to have children, get sick, need
schools or hospital care, need places to live and transport to get to and from their
work, it is becoming increasingly urgent that efforts are made to plan for such
The Joint Oireachtas Committee on European Affairs has been made aware of
ongoing efforts to coordinate information. The Committee believes that this is an
essential task and should be undertaken with as much speed as possible
Irish agencies should be asked to work even more closely with the governments
of the sending countries, to publicise the appropriate routes for finding jobs in
Ireland, and restricting the activities of unscrupulous or careless agencies
The Joint Oireachtas Committee on European Affairs agrees with the view of the
Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment that there should be greater
cooperation and coordination between the bodies involved in inspecting and
enforcing the range of legislation already enacted to protect workers’ rights.
The Joint Oireachtas Committee on European Affairs considers that clear
responsibility to support social and economic integration of immigrants should
be given to one government agency.
The Joint Oireachtas Committee on European Affairs believes that a study
should be made of the possibility of establishing a network of ‚drop-in centres‛
ANNEX 2 - List of Members
JOINT COMMITTEE ON EUROPEAN AFFAIRS
Clerk: Anne-Marie Fahy
Deputies: Bernard Allen (FG)1
Barry Andrews (FF)2 Vice Chairman
Paudge Connolly (Ind) 3
John Deasy (FG)4 Chairman
Séamus Kirk (FF)
Michael Mulcahy (FF)5
Aengus O’Snodaigh (SF)
Ruairí Quinn (Lab)6
Mae Sexton (PD)
Dan Wallace (FF)7
Joe Walsh (FF)8
Senators: Paul Bradford (FG)
John Dardis (PD)
Don Lydon (FF)
Derek McDowell (Lab)
Ann Ormonde (FF)
Feargal Quinn (Ind)
1 Bernard Allen replaced Jim O’Keeffe by order of the Dáil on 20 October 2004
2 Barry Andrews was elected Vice Chairman on 25 November 2004
3 Paudge Connolly replaced Marian Harkin by order of the Dáil on 16 June 2005
4 John Deasy replaced Gay Mitchell by order of the Dáil on 20 October 2004 and was elected as
Chairman on 20 October 2004
5 Michael Mulcahy replaced Seán Haughey by order of the Dáil on 18 November 2004
6 Ruairí Quinn replaced Jack Wall by order of the Dáil on 7 November 2002
7 Dan Wallace replaced Michael Mulcahy by order of the Dáil on 16 November 2004
8 Joe Walsh replaced Pat Carey by order of the Dáil on 16 November 2004
ANNEX 3 - Orders of Reference
Dáil Éireann on 16 October 2002 ordered:
“That the Orders of Reference of the Select Committee on European Affairs
established on 27th June 2002, be amended by the insertion of the following Orders
of Reference in substitution thereof:
(1) (a) That a Select Committee, which shall be called the Select Committee on
European Affairs, consisting of 11 Members of Dáil Éireann (of whom
four shall constitute a quorum), be appointed to consider—
(i) such Bills the statute law in respect of which is dealt with by the
Department of Foreign Affairs;
(ii) such proposals contained in any motion, including any motion
within the meaning of Standing Order 157 concerning the
approval by the Dáil of international agreements involving a
charge on public funds,
as shall be referred to it by Dáil Éireann from time to time.
(b) For the purpose of its consideration of Bills and proposals under
paragraphs (1)(a)(i) and (ii), the Select Committee shall have the powers
defined in Standing Order 81(1), (2) and (3).
(c) For the avoidance of doubt, by virtue of his or her ex officio membership
of the Select Committee in accordance with Standing Order 90(1), the
Minister for Foreign Affairs (or a Minister or Minister of State nominated
in his or her stead) shall be entitled to vote.
(2) (a) The Select Committee shall be joined with a Select Committee to be
appointed by Seanad Éireann to form the Joint Committee on European
(i) scrutinise, in the context of European Union issues and measures
to be taken by the Council of Ministers of the European Union-
(I) any proposals under the Community treaties for
legislation by the Council or the Council acting jointly
with the European Parliament,
(II) any document which is published for submission to the
European Council, the Council or the European Central
(III) any proposal for a common strategy, a joint action or a
common position under Title V of the Treaty on
European Union which is prepared for submission to
the Council or to the European Council,
(IV) any proposal for a common position, framework
decision, decision or a convention under Title VI of the
Treaty on European Union which is prepared for
submission to the Council,
(V) any document (not falling within (II), (III), or (IV)
above) which is published by one Union institution for
or with a view to submission to another Union
institution and which does not relate exclusively to the
consideration of any proposal for legislation,
(VI) any other document relating to European Union
matters deposited in both Houses of the Oireachtas by
a Member of the Government or Minister of State,
as it may select;
(ii) consider such matters arising from Ireland’s membership of the
European Communities and its adherence to the Treaty on
European Union, as it may select;
(iii) consider such -
(I) acts of the institutions of the European Communities,
(II) regulations under the European Communities Acts,
1972 to 1998,
(III) other instruments made under statute and necessitated
by the obligations of membership of the European
as it may select;
(iv) consider such other matters as may be referred to it from time to
time by both Houses of the Oireachtas;
(v) represent both Houses of the Oireachtas at the Conference of
European Affairs Committees (COSAC);
and shall report thereon to both Houses of the Oireachtas.
(b) The Joint Committee shall have:
(i) the powers defined in Standing Order 81(1) to (9) inclusive;
(ii) the power to refer a proposal for EU legislation which has been
considered by it (and which has been concluded to be of
sufficient national importance to require further scrutiny) to a
Joint Committee on which has been conferred the power defined
in Standing Order 81(4) to consider such proposals;
(iii) the power to request the presence of Members of the Government
(or Ministers of State nominated in their stead) (or, in the case of
the European Council, the Taoiseach or Minister for Foreign
Affairs) to attend before the Joint Committee and provide, in
private session if so desired by the Member of the Government or
Minister of State, oral briefings in advance of Council meetings to
enable the Joint Committee to make known its views.
(c) The following persons may attend meetings of the Joint Committee and
of its sub-Committees and may take part in proceedings without having
a right to vote or to move motions and amendments—
(i) Members of the European Parliament elected from constituencies
in Ireland (including Northern Ireland);
(b) (ii) members of the Irish delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of
the Council of Europe;
(iii) at the invitation of the Joint Committee or of a sub-Committee, as
appropriate, other Members of the European Parliament.
(d) The quorum of the Joint Committee shall be five, of whom at least one
shall be a Member of Dáil Éireann and one a Member of Seanad Éireann.
(3) The Chairman of the Joint Committee, who shall be a Member of Dáil Éireann,
shall also be Chairman of the Select Committee.’.‛