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Draft National Risk Assessment 2015


The Government has today published the draft National Risk Assessment 2015 – Overview of Strategic Risks.

This sets out a draft list of strategic risks, both financial and non-financial, which Ireland faces, with a view to stimulating public debate on those risks and what are the appropriate responses.

The Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, said that 'this Government has a duty to ensure that the ill fortunes which Ireland has experienced never re-occur. We must do this by being open to the future, scanning the horizon to ensure that we are quick to detect any event that could undo us if left unchecked'.

The draft list of risks has been prepared following collaboration across Government Departments and an Open Policy Debate involving invitees from academic, civic society and public service sectors.

Risks have been classified under the following headings: (i) economic, (ii) environmental, (iii) geo-political, (iv) social,(v) technological.

This is the second year a National Risk Assessment has been prepared, and the draft list reflects some changes in the national and international context since 2014, including continued recovery in the Irish economy, growing pressures in the housing market, launch of a Quantitative Easing programme by the European Central Bank, ongoing negotiations on Greece’s public finances and its economic reform programme, the recent general election in Britain, greater geo-political uncertainty introduced by the ongoing conflict between Ukrainian government forces and Russian-aligned separatists, and the rise of Islamic State in the Middle East which has added to the high level of volatility in the region.

There are of course many other trends, some of a more gradual nature, which affect an assessment of risks facing the country.

Reflecting these developments, this preliminary analysis of potential risks for 2015 has suggested some changes to the list drawn up in 2014.  These include:

  • a new risk relating to the Impact of Quantitative Easing
  • a stand-alone risk on Misalignments in the property market
  • a greater focus on the Uncertainties over the UK’s relationship with the EU
  • a new risk relating to social expectations of greater publicexpenditure

The Taoiseach has expressed the hope that 'we can have a mature debate about the challenges we face as a nation and how these should be addressed. Given the pace at which events changes and the complexities involved, Government cannot pretend to have a monopoly of wisdom. That is why we are inviting people to respond to the draft to help us refine the approach'.

Submissions on the draft list of risks identified are being sought and can be made to nra@taoiseach.gov.ie by 19th June.  These can respond to a number of questions listed in the document, including nomination of additional strategic risks warranting inclusion.