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Single Market Scoreboard

Country data: Ireland

Transposition (Ireland)

All comparisons are with the figures for 10 December 2020, the previous reporting date.

The last 2 years, the COVID-19 pandemic forced Member State authorities to address pressing priorities and affected their performance in transposing EU rules to some degree. In this context, the Commission has taken a number of extraordinary measures aimed at relieving the strain on Member States’ administrative resources. Nevertheless, it has also made clear that the Member States’ legal obligations to transpose EU directives in time remain unchanged.


Transposition deficit (percentage of all directives not transposed): 2.2% (last report: 1.3%) – a marked increase of 0.9 percentage points. Ireland is one of six Member States whose deficit is more than doubled the 1% target set by the European Council.  
EU average = 1.6%; proposed target (in the Single Market Act) = 0.5%.

After years of good results for this criterion, Ireland’s performance was seriously affected by the unusually large number of directives Member States had to transpose in 2016, followed by the constraints due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Having had a perfect score in 2012, Ireland is now one of the Member States with the highest transposition deficit. In addition, it did not transpose 10 of the 26 single market directives (38%) due to have been transposed in the 6 months before the cut-off date for calculating the deficit (1 June to 30 November 2021). Refocusing attention on transposition issues would probably boost Ireland’s performance.

Overdue directives: 22 (last report: 13). No particular sector to mention. Two directives are more than 2 years overdue (Directive 2014/52/EU on the assessment of the effects of certain public and private projects on the environment and Directive (EU) 2016/2341 on the activities and supervision of institutions for occupational retirement provision (IORPs)).

Average delay in transposing directives: 12.4 months (last report: 12.2 months) – a slight increase of 0.2 months. The country now has the fourth highest average delay in transposing directives (having has the second highest average delay in the previous year).            
EU average = 8.6 months

Ireland now has 2 long-overdue directives (due for 2 years or more) and 6 outstanding directives that have been due for between 1 and 2 years. Nevertheless, their duration is partly offset by the shorter duration of 10 other outstanding directives that have been due for less than 6 months.

Conformity deficit (percentage of all directives transposed incorrectly): 1.2% (last report: 1.3%) – a slight decrease of 0.1 percentage points.  
EU average = 1.3%; proposed target (in the Single Market Act) = 0.5%

The number of new infringement proceedings that the Commission has launched against Member States for incorrectly transposing single market directives has more than halved in 2 years. Nevertheless, the number of ongoing cases is still high. With 12 directives presumed to have been incorrectly transposed, Ireland’s conformity deficit remains below the EU average.

Evolution of transposition deficit


Evolution of conformity deficit


Infringements (Ireland)

All comparisons are with the figures for 1 December 2020, the previous reporting date.


Pending single market cases: 18 (1 new case and 6 cases closed; last report: 23 pending cases) – a further decrease (of 5 cases). Ireland has consistently remained below the EU average since May 2011.              
EU average = 27 cases

This is only the second time that there have been so few Irish cases (the last time was in December 2015).

The Commission launched 120 new cases against Member States in the reporting period (besides those for late transposition), and these were still pending on 1 December 2021. Only 1 case was launched against Ireland, which is the lowest number among Member States and well below the EU average of 4 new cases launched in the reporting period. However, 6 Irish cases have been resolved since December 2020, which is less than the EU average (8).

Problematic sectors: the environment (8 cases), including 4 on water protection and management; services and professions (3 cases). Together, these make up = 61% of all pending cases.

Average case duration: 54 months for the 16 single market cases not yet sent to the European Court of Justice (last report: 51.6 months) – this is an increase of 2.4 months, and the average duration of cases is much longer than the EU average.    
EU average = 42.8 months

The average duration of Irish cases has increased by 17% in the last 3 years. Ireland is now the Member State with the second longest average duration of cases, down from the longest duration the previous year. It recently resolved 6 cases with an average duration of more than 5 years (including 2 cases on air transport that ran for 6 and 16 years respectively). However, 5 of the 16 Irish pending cases have been running for between 5 and 14 years (2 cases on the environment and 1 case on air transport have been running the longest), and this has a big impact on the average duration.

Time taken to comply with Court rulings: 27.4 months for the three single market cases at the Court-ruling stage of the procedure and closed in the last 5 years (last report: same). 
EU average = 46.8 months

There has been no change since the previous period. It took Ireland between 18 and 40 months to to comply with the three cases referred to above.

Evolution of infringement cases


Internal Market Information System (Ireland)

Performance – Ireland performed moderately well.

  • Results for four indicators were below or equal to the EEA average.
  • Performance for four indicators declined, most notably for requests accepted within 1 week.
  • Requests replied to within the agreed deadline increased slightly.
Requests accepted within one week (%)
Requests answered by the deadline agreed in IMI (%)
Satisfaction with timeliness of replies - as rated by counterparts (%)
Satisfaction with efforts made - as rated by counterparts (%)
Speed in answering requests (days)

Technical regulations information system (Ireland)


SOLVIT (Ireland)

  • Caseloadmedium
    Submitted cases – 38 (32 in 2020)
    Received cases – 77 (47 in 2020)

Cases not accepted – 65 (53 in 2020)

  • Resolution rate –  92% (87% in 2020)
  • Handling time (home centre)
    Reply in 7 days: 93% (100% in 2020) – very good
    Cases prepared in 30 days: 89% (97% in 2020) – good
    Solutions accepted within 7 days: 100% (75% in 2020 ) – very  good

Cases not accepted within 30 days: 92% (72% in 2020) – very good

  • Handling time (lead centre)
    Cases accepted within 7 days:  87% (59% in 2020) good
    Cases closed in 10 weeks:  80% (63% in 2020) – good
  • Staffing

Payment delays (Ireland)

In 2022, the average payment delay (the time exceeding the legal or contractually agreed payment terms) by Irish public authorities was 19 days.

The average number of days needed for a business to have its invoices paid by other businesses (business-to-business payments) was 53.59 days.

Responsive administration and burden of regulation (Ireland)

Indicator 2021 EU average
Burden of government regulation (survey replies: 1 = worst, 7 = best) 4.4   3.6  
Digital public services to start and run a business (100% = best performing) 100.0% n/a  
Payment delays by public authorities 19 days 15.7 days
Time to resolve insolvency 0.4 years 2.0 years
Impact of regulation on long-term investment decisions (survey replies) 7.9% n/a  

Access to public procurement (Ireland)

Indicator 2021 EU average
Single bidder 15% 25%
No calls for bids 4% 6%
Publication rate (value advertised on Tenders Electronic Daily, in % of GDP) 2.9% 5.9%
Cooperative procurement (proportion of procedures with more than one buyer) 17% 5%
Award criteria (proportion of procedures awarded to cheapest bid) 20% 64%
Decision speed (days) 111   99  
SME contractors 68% 61%
SME bids 76% 73%
Procedures divided into lots 15% 31%
Missing calls for bids 1% 1%
Missing seller registration numbers 37% 29%
Missing buyer registration numbers 70% 11%

Note: A typical (mid-ranking) EU country is used for the EU average for all indicators except the publication rate. Due to delays in data availability, publication rate results are based on 2020 data.

Access to services and services markets (Ireland)

Indicator 2021 EU average
Restrictiveness indicator – architect 2.2   2.5  
Restrictiveness indicator – accountant 2.0   1.7  
Restrictiveness indicator – civil engineer 2.5   2.4  
Restrictiveness indicator – lawyer 3.1   3.4  
Restrictiveness indicator – real estate agent 2.0   1.3  
Restrictiveness indicator – patent agent 1.2   2.2  
Restrictiveness indicator – tourist guide 0.0   1.2  
Domestic priority letter prices, letter 20 g (2020) € 1.00 € 0.88
Intra-EU priority letter prices, letter 20 g (2020) € 1.70 € 1.53
Domestic transit times, day+1 performance, priority letters 20 g (2020) n/a 84.2%

Note: The EU restrictiveness indicator (EURI) measures the level of restrictiveness for the cross-border provision of services and the right of establishment for seven groups of professional services with a high share in EU firms’ intermediate consumption or cross-border mobility. The level of restrictiveness is measured on a scale from 0 (least restrictive) to 6 (most restrictive). 

Access to finance (Ireland)

Indicator 2021 EU average
Access to public financial support (% of SMEs indicating deterioration) 12.2%  11.3% 
Time to get paid by businesses (2022 survey) 53.6 days 52.5 days
Venture capital investments (% of GDP) 0.71% 0.48%
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