BaileFoilseacháinFoilseacháin 2017

Draft National Risk Assessment 2017


The Taoiseach, Mr. Leo Varadkar T.D., said that the risk assessment process “provides an opportunity to take a step back from the day to day concerns, to consider longer-term risks to national well-being.”

He noted the importance of having “a mature debate about these challenges and their implications for the country” and encouraged interested parties to make their views known by responding to the public consultation.

The Government today published the Draft National Risk Assessment 2017 – Overview of Strategic Risks. It identifies risks under the following headings: geo-political, economic, environmental, social and technological.

Since last year’s iteration of the National Risk Assessment, risks arising from external sources have intensified. The UK’s withdrawal from the EU will likely have serious political and economic consequences, and the US policy approach to tax and trade may pose challenges.

Geopolitical instability is perceived to have increased, with the changing distribution of global influence and moves away from a rules-based system an increased risk.

Risks to the performance of the Irish economy have increased, including through the impact of Brexit, possible changes to US trade and tax policy, and the risk of a return to economic turbulence in Europe. Ongoing internal risks include those posed by legacy issues and competitiveness pressures.

Environmental risks include climate change; the risk of exposure to rising energy costs, particularly in the context of Brexit; risks inherent in the continued housing supply constraint; and risks that could arise from under-investment in economic and social infrastructure.

Social risks arise from the changing demographics, including to pensions and the health system, and to social cohesion and political stability from real or perceived inequality in terms of income and job security. Other risks include unrealistic expectations for public expenditure, and human capital and skills needs.

The prominence of some technological risks has increased, in particular the potential for cyber-attacks and data thefts, and risks associated with disruptive technology trends with the potential to displace existing jobs and businesses.

Since its inception, the process has highlighted a number of important risks – for example, in 2014 it included the earliest official acknowledgments of the risks arising from a potential Brexit. The draft list of risks has been prepared by Departments and Agencies, and through consultation via an Open Policy Debate in April 2017.

Submissions on the draft list of risks identified are being sought and can be made to by Tuesday 18th July. Submissions can include responses to the questions listed in the document, including in relation to the identification of further significant risks.


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