Thursday, 10 November 2005
Dermot Ahern (Minister, Department of Foreign Affairs; Louth, Fianna Fail)
Between 2000 and 2005, Ireland was supposed to transpose 1068 directives and has, to date, transposed 1045, which is not a bad record. In fact, if one looks at the figures for when this Government came into office, we are now three times better than we were at that time, in terms of the percentage. In 1997, the transposition deficit figure was 5.4%, which was probably one of the worst in the EU. We are now just ahead of the average for the EU 25 of 1.9%. We are better than the EU 15 average of 2.1% and the EU 10 average of 1.1.7%.
At the moment there are 30 directive transpositions outstanding. There are nine in the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment and five overdue in the Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government, with two further directives partially transposed. There are five outstanding in the Department of Transport, four in the Department of Health and Children, three in the Department of Agriculture and Food and one in the Department of Communications, Marine and Natural Resources. The record is quite good and the figures stack up. We are, through the interdepartmental group chaired by the Minister of State, Deputy Treacy, constantly exhorting our colleagues to ensure that these directives are transposed in a timely manner. The only action being taken against the State at the moment relates to alleged inaccuracies. It does not relate to a failure to transpose EU legislation but to the way in which it was transposed. A number of actions are being taken across Departments. However, they are not significant compared with some other countries that are way behind us.