New Policy Institute launched at Trinity College

Posted on: 08 April 1998

A new source of research and evaluation of public policy in Ireland, The Policy Institute, was launched in Trinity College by the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Mary Harney TD, last week (Wednesday 8th April). A joint venture between the Departments of Economics and Political Science at Trinity, the Policy Institute is the first university-based institute of its kind in this country.

The Institute will publish its output in a series of ‘Trinity Studies in Public Policy’ to be called the “Blue Papers”. The first Blue Paper, “Electing the President of the European Commission”, is already available. A series of five more is planned for 1998, dealing with a range of themes, including: electoral reform; the funding of political parties; the Dublin taxi market and the implementation of the Strategic Management Initiative in the Irish civil service.

The Institute’s research agenda in the medium term includes plans for publications on evaluating policies designed to combat social exclusion and the economic cost of political violence in the North. It was also announced at the launch that the Department of Social, Community and Family Affairs is to avail of the Policy Institute’s facilities in tackling a review of the Department’s ‘free’ schemes next year.

Speaking at the launch, the Tánaiste welcomed the establishment of the Policy Institute, stating that its objectives were innovative and to be commended. “A critical, independent research agenda is vitally important to an informed public policy agenda. Strategic thinking of the best kind is needed for the challenges and opportunities of the new millennium. The key will be in proposing policy ideas and solutions that are implementable in ways that will be of real benefit to our country over the medium and long term,” she said.