Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, Tánaiste Micheál Martin, and Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications and Transport, Eamon Ryan, have launched a review of the Government’s Global Ireland strategy which shows it has helped Ireland to deal with recent global challenges more effectively.
The Taoiseach published the Global Ireland strategy in 2018 with the aim of doubling the scope and impact of Ireland’s global engagement in the period to 2025. It represents the most ambitious renewal and expansion of Ireland’s international presence ever undertaken in terms of diplomacy, culture, business, overseas development assistance, tourism and trade.
Since then, Ireland was elected to the United Nations Security Council, and has opened 22 new missions around the world, as well as eight new Enterprise Ireland offices, a new Bord Bia office, and expanded the IDA Ireland to ten new locations.
The Strategy focuses on growing and diversifying export markets, inward investment and tourism. It aims to ensure that Ireland is well positioned to build the alliances necessary to advance our interests and defend our positions in international settings. The Strategy means that Ireland is better able to advocate for and achieve our foreign policy objectives, including international development, peace, disarmament and democratic security, while strengthening our engagement with our 70 million-strong diaspora and bringing our rich culture and heritage to wider audiences.
The Review examined the objectives set in 2018 and considered whether they remain effective. It found that implementation of the Global Ireland 2025 strategy has brought benefits to the country, including equipping us to better withstand the challenges of recent years; positioning us to make effective contributions on issues of national and global concern, and supporting a diversification in markets and international alliances. The review also identified areas for greater focus and action in the period ahead.
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said, “I remember launching this Strategy alongside then Minister for Foreign Affairs, Simon Coveney in 2018. I was determined to increase Ireland’s diplomatic and agency footprint on the ground around the world. I am so happy at what has been achieved since with new embassies and enterprise agency offices in places like LA, Mumbai, Miami, Manchester, Frankfurt and Wellington. It’s hard to believe we did not have a physical presence in these cities before.”
“We were also elected to a seat on the UN Security Council, have increased our International Development programme budget to over €1 billion a year, became founders of PESCO, the EU’s structured co-operation on defence and security, and there are now Irish people in several top European roles. In 100 years of statehood, I don’t think Ireland’s global influence has ever been so heavy. Trade and investment levels broke all records in 2022. But we must not rest on our laurels, we need to consolidate what has been achieved and build on it.”
“Global Ireland is a statement of ambition. An ambition for Ireland to be more visible, more active and more successful in promoting our interests and values around the world. In publishing this report, the Government is showing our determination to meet the target we set in 2018 to double Ireland’s international footprint. The Global Ireland strategy is as important today as when it was launched in 2018. At that time the world was already becoming a much more uncertain place. That uncertainty has only increased since then. Because we have a wider and deeper presence in the world, Ireland has been better equipped to respond to major global events like Brexit, the pandemic and Russia’s brutal war in Ukraine.”
“By having a stronger international presence, and by diversifying supply chains and markets for our exports and investments, we are making our economy stronger and more resilient to global challenges. Our higher profile and deeper engagement around the world gives us a platform to win more jobs, more investment and more tourism to Ireland.”
The Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Defence, Micheál Martin TD said, “Team Ireland has become a living reality with Government Departments and agencies working together, and increasingly under one roof overseas, to deliver economic benefits for the Irish public. The Global Ireland network matters. Having an Embassy in Kyiv when Russia launched a war on Ukraine and being on the UN Security Council when humanitarian aid to the Syrian people was on the line, are two real world examples of this in action.”
Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications and Transport, Eamon Ryan TD said, “the period since the Global Ireland strategy was adopted in 2018 has also seen Ireland becoming an increasingly important voice on climate internationally. Our Climate Act is recognised as one of the most ambitious in the world, while we are also making great strides in terms of switching to a circular economy and moving on from the “take, make, waste” model. Government’s adoption of the Global Ireland Review shows our commitment right across government to make sure that Ireland has the means to make its voice heard, to be trusted to listen to the voices of other states in often sensitive negotiations, and to advance our values, including our commitment to climate and social justice.”
Work on implementation of the Global Ireland strategy will continue with a focus on the new and renewed objectives identified in this Review. The Government will undertake a final review of the Strategy following its conclusion at the end of 2025.