EC Radio Ireland Reports The latest EC Radio Ireland Reports en-gb Copyright 2016, European Commission. All rights reserved. Mon, 17 Jun 2019 12:16:51 GMT <![CDATA[Ireland ranks highly for I.C.T. specialists in the EU]]>
The EU Digital Economy and Society Index Report says however that less than half the Irish adult population has basic digital skills.

Grace Bolton from the European Commission office in Ireland says there is a major generation divide in this country when it comes to personal computer skills.]]>
<![CDATA[Irish small companies top the EU league for using e-commerce]]>
30 per cent of small Irish business operations now sell products and services online within Ireland.

26 per cent of Irish SME turnover is generated from online sales - and is growing, according to the latest EU Digital and Society Index Report.

Grace Bolton of the European Commission office in Ireland says Irish companies are leading the way when it comes to internet trade. 

<![CDATA[Ireland still expensive for broadband connectivity]]>
New figures from the EU Digital Economy and Society index show we have jumped from almost bottom of the class to the top five in 60 months.

However we remain 12th out of 28 member States when it comes to overall connectivity.

Grace Bolton of the European Commission office in Ireland says in some areas of digital connectivity we score well but in others, not so well.

<![CDATA[EU highlights the benefits of health insurance cards]]>
The EHIC card allows people to receive hospital treatment for little or no charge in the event of an accident or sudden illness.

Tim Hayes of the European Commission office in Ireland says the card is free and has multiple cost benefits in the event of a health scare elsewhere with the European Union.]]>
<![CDATA[Ireland has more households with 3+ children than any other EU State]]>
New figures from Eurostat show that children live in 39% of Irish homes, and over a quarter of those have three or more children in them.

In contrast, Bulgaria has the lowest number of homes with three or more children – just 5% of all the households with children living in them.

Tim Hayes of the European Commission office in Dublin says more Irish children are staying in the family home for longer.  ]]>
<![CDATA[ECC holiday small print advisory]]>
It says many people who encounter problems are totally unaware of their legal rights where difficulties occur.

Martina Nee is spokesperson for ECC Ireland.

She says it can't be stressed hard enough how important it is to read an airline's terms and conditions before departing on a holiday.]]>
<![CDATA[New EU rules for drone operators from 2020]]>
From next year, drone operators across the EU will have to register with national authorities.

Drones will not be allowed fly higher than 120 metres or fly near people, and EU countries will be able to define so-called "no-fly zones" such as airports or city centres, where drones will not be allowed to fly.

Tim Hayes of the European Commission office in Ireland says the measures are necessary to prevent disruption at busy airports.]]>
<![CDATA[New cigarette traceability measures launched]]>
From now on, all cigarette packs produced in, or destined for, the EU market, will have to carry a traceability marking or "unique identifer." 

This means all product movements will be recorded from the producer to the retail consumer.

Tim Hayes of the European Commission office in Ireland says the new measures will clamp down on revenue loss and ensure quality cigarettes are sold.

<![CDATA[New €100 and €200 notes come into circulation]]>
The notes contain new in-built holograms which will make them more difficult to counterfeit.

The new notes are also the same dimensions as €50 paper.

Tim Hayes of the European Commission says they should also fit in to wallets and purses easier.]]>
<![CDATA[Household electricity prices remain expensive in Ireland]]>
Cost increases were highest in Cyprus, where they rose by 19.6 per cent last year. Household electricity remains cheapest in former Soviet bloc countries that are now members of the EU.

Grace Bolton of the EU Commission office in Ireland says that household electricity costs in Ireland are the fourth highest among the 28 EU Member States.]]>
<![CDATA[Ten Irish Local Authorities win free EU Wi-Fi grants]]>
In total 22 WIFI hotspots will be funded in Galway, Kilkenny, Leitrim, Meath, Monaghan, Roscommon, Sligo, South Dublin, Westmeath and Wicklow.

Under the scheme, the successful local authorities will receive EU Commission grants worth €15,000 each to install wi-fi transmitters in public urban areas.

Grace Bolton of the EU Commission office in Ireland says once installed, members of the public in these areas will be able to access high quality free wi-fi.]]>
<![CDATA[Ireland recorded highest increase in household gas prices in 2018]]>
New figures from Eurostat show that prices here increased by 17. 3 per cent last year.

In Croatia, household gas costs fell by 2.5 per cent while in Germany, the cost decreased by 0.2 per cent.

Grace Bolton of the EU Commission Office in Ireland says when the average cost per unit is taken into account, Ireland is the 8th most expensive country in the European Union to purchase household gas.]]>