Ireland to introduce civil service diversity targets

By on 19/06/2020
Fianna Fáil’s leader Micheál Martin will be Ireland’s next Taoiseach if the coalition is agreed. (Image by maxwellphotography.ie/Houses of the Oireachtas via flickr).

Targets are to be set for the number of people from ethnic minority backgrounds employed in the public and civil service in Ireland.

Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael and the Green Party are expected to enter a coalition and form the next government of Ireland after months of negotiation. They agreed on a draft Programme of Government this week, including a commitment to introduce “targets to increase the proportion of public and civil servants from ethnic minority backgrounds”.

The move comes amidst anti-racism protests and debates about systemic racism around the world, following the death of George Floyd while in the custody of Minneapolis police last month. No further details on the targets have so far been released.

The targets are one of a series of reforms agreed in the Programme of Government, which also asserts that the new administration will “ensure that the state becomes closer and more responsive to citizens and their needs”.

“We will ensure public services are efficient, understandable and as transparent as possible. We will do our utmost to protect and enhance democracy through a series of political and public service reforms and use our Global Ireland programme to promote democratic values worldwide,” it says.  

The draft programme also includes a national recovery plan aimed at repairing the economic and social damage caused by the COVID-19 pandemic; a pledge to prioritise climate change management; and a commitment to establish an Electoral Commission by 2021 and explore election reforms.

A general election was held in Ireland in February, but no party got a majority. If the coalition is agreed by the three parties’ members, it will be the first time Ireland’s two main parties – Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael – govern jointly. The leaders of the parties have agreed that they will take turns to lead the government. Sinn Fein, which secured the largest share of the popular vote, has condemned the arrangement.

About Mia Hunt

Mia is a journalist and editor with a background in covering commercial property, having been market reports and supplements editor at trade title Property Week and deputy editor of Shopping Centre magazine, now known as Retail Destination. She has also undertaken freelance work for several publications including the preview magazine of international trade show, MAPIC, and TES Global (formerly the Times Educational Supplement) and has produced a white paper on energy efficiency in business for E.ON. Between 2014 and 2016, she was a member of the Revo Customer Experience Committee and an ACE Awards judge. Mia graduated from Kingston University with a first-class degree in journalism and was part of the team that produced The River newspaper, which won Publication of the Year at the Guardian Student Media Awards in 2010.

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