Press Release - Ireland’s Transactions with the EU in 2017

27 February 2019

A report of the Comptroller and Auditor General about Ireland’s transactions with the EU in 2017 was presented to the Houses of the Oireachtas today.

This report compiles information on financial transactions between Ireland and the EU in 2017, with the aim of providing an overview of Ireland’s contribution to the EU budget, the funding it receives, and financial corrections and other matters impacting on the flow of funds. 

The EU Budget

    The EU has committed to spending €1,087 billion (at 2018 prices) for the period 2014 to 2020 under the current multiannual financial framework. Negotiations have commenced on the framework for the period commencing 2021. These are critical negotiations because the outcome will set the financial relationship for the medium to long term.

    Contributions by Ireland to the EU budget

    Financially, Ireland was a net beneficiary of the EU until 2014. Since then, Ireland has received marginally less than it has contributed. Ireland’s contribution to the EU budget in 2017 was €2 billion. Financial projections suggest that the contribution will increase significantly in future years.

    Long-term commitments also arise from Ireland’s membership of the EU. The value of these commitments is subject to inherent uncertainties and there is no estimate of their value.

    Receipts from the EU

    Ireland received €1.8 billion in EU funding in 2017. Approximately 90% of the funding received in 2017 was administered through central government departments. The remaining 10% goes directly to certain public bodies, the private sector and EU bodies operating in Ireland.

    Over 80% of funding received in 2017 was in respect of agriculture and rural development — this funding makes a significant contribution to the viability of farming in Ireland.

    Ireland has made relatively more progress than the EU average in selecting projects for structural funding. Ireland is also relatively good at drawing down available structural funds.

    Compared to other member states, Ireland incurs a relatively low level of financial corrections as a result of audits of EU transactions.

    Notes for Editors

    This report also includes receipts by Irish bodies outside the public sector, so reported receipts are higher than those included in Department of Finance published reports.

    The full text of the report is available here.

    The Comptroller and Auditor General is an independent constitutional officer with responsibility for the audit of public funds. He reports to Dáil Éireann.

    The sole and exclusive focus of the report is on public bodies, and not on staff members of those bodies or on any third parties. For the avoidance of doubt, the report does not make any criticism or comment or present any view, whether express or implied, with respect to staff members of public bodies or third parties, and should not be understood as doing so.

    Enquiries about the report should be directed to Peter Kinsley at (01) 863 8665 or at