Ireland, is a model example of development for Slovakia and other small Central and Eastern European countries. After a period of stagnation, in the first half of the 1980s the Ireland experienced astonishing economic growth and changes on labour market. In the 80ties there was a slow economic growth, fiscal crisis and living standards below the European average. As a conclusion there was huge and chronic unemployment of over 17%, and strong emigration of about 30-40 thousand persons, mostly highly educated, a year. In the 80ties emigrated 6 per cent of the whole population of the country. Nowadays all has changed dramatically. Net immigration occurred and the unemployment rate is although of about 4.5 per cent. Ireland‘s actual problems are the problems of success. Introduction
When in the end of the 60s and beginning of the 70s the accession of Ireland to the European Union was about to decide, there was a notable fear in the country. The people were afraid to loos the sovereignty, being subjugated or not being successful. Recently Ireland is one of big players in the world. This position the country would never achieve without being a member of the EU. After a period of stagnation, in the first half of the 1980s the Ireland experienced astonishing economic growth and changes on labour market. The Irish economy was very critical in the late 1980s. There was huge and chronic unemployment, decreasing employment, slow economic growth, fiscal crisis of the State and living standards were in long-term below the European average. (See figure 5.1 )
The Ireland’s economy grew rapidly in 2000. The GDP have risen by 10.7%. Employment grew at over 4 % per year, in numbers it grew by almost 35% between 1987-1998 and by about 25% between 1993-1998. Employment is estimated to have risen by 4.5% (it makes 74,000 individuals). Unemployment had fallen to less than 8 per cent (from 16 % in 80´s) - well below the European average, and in 2000 continued to fall at 4.1%. The European Union gave to Ireland huge export facilities, it is the third biggest software exporter in the World. Many of the foreign investors would never come and create the job opportunities the country not being a member of the European Union. A big help for Ireland were the transfers of the EU to the infrastructure and human capital, to the education.
The Irish economy has been transformed by a supply side revolution.
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