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Government publishes National Risk Assessment 2018

The Government today published the final National Risk Assessment 2018 - Overview of Strategic Risks.

The National Risk Assessment allows us to identify strategic risks to Ireland’s future well-being. It is important to have this public discussion and we would like to thank everyone who contributed their views.

The Report follows a consultation that aimed to stimulate and facilitate a national conversation about the risks facing Ireland, including an Open Policy Debate in April, and a four week public consultation period on a draft version of the National Risk Assessment.

The National Risk Assessment, which is published annually, is an opportunity to take a bird’s eye view of the biggest risks facing the country. By identifying and debating these risks, the exercise aims to increases awareness and also provides a framework for Departments to consider mitigation actions and plans.

Changes to this year’s Report include the addition of two new risks, “Overheating in the Economy” and “Impact of Social Media on Public Debate”. “Overheating in the Economy” reflects the risk of growth rates continuing on their present trajectory and the economy potentially approaching its capacity limits, with related risks around the under-supply and lack of affordability of housing and risks to our competitiveness, as well as a tightening of the labour market, and infrastructure constraints.

“Impact of Social Media on Public Debate” highlights the risks related to the lack of oversight of both social media users and their data. The spreading of misinformation or so-called ‘fake news’ is also discussed under this new risk, with associated challenges for regulatory systems.
The risks to Ireland’s Biodiversity are more prominent alongside Climate Change as an environmental risk, while risks around Brexit and geopolitical issues such as US trade and tax policy and the rise of populism have also intensified and evolved. The supply and affordability of housing continues to be a prominent concern. The Report also acknowledges and reflects on the linkages between risks, and their potential to interact.

This year’s Report also includes a “look back” piece, reflecting on the past four reports, since the first report was published in 2014.


Note to Editors:

The National Risk Assessment is conducted annually by the Department of the Taoiseach. It identifies risks under the following headings: geo-political, economic, environmental, social and technological.

A draft National Risk Assessment 2018 was published for consultation in May. The submissions received are published here.

Over 70 submissions were received, leading to some significant changes and updates to the narrative of the report. In addition, many of the submissions received emphasised risks that were already captured. The most significant change made on foot of the public consultation period was the addition and expansion of the Report’s treatment of risks around biodiversity. This was reflected in particular through the addition of biodiversity to the title of the risk “Climate Change & Biodiversity”.