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Saturday, 2 August 2014

Fine Gael affiliated think tank the Collins Institute

Update: The Collins Institute was officially launched on the 17th of December.

Update: the page that was built at Collins Institute is no longer public. Somebody was building the site in public accidentally.

The Collins Institute was announced at the Ocotober 2013 Fine Gael party conferene as a Fine Gael affiliated think tank. I started a thread on it on The Michael Collins Institute
Politics.ie




Enda Kenny: 'Ireland needs an overhaul of social welfare' Irish Mirror Oct 11, 2013

The Fine Gael leader also confirmed he will set up a new group called the Collins Institute to come up with fresh ideas to help the country back to its best.

Government forecasts budget deficit of 7.3% Newstalk 12 October 2013
Enda Kenny also confirmed he will set up a new internal group called the Collins Institute to come up with fresh policies for the party.

Isn't that what political parties membership are for, isn't what party conferences are for, why do you need a seperate think thank?

I wondered at the time.

What was the last idea that a Fine Gael policy group came up with... Seanad abolition.

Nothing more about it until 2nd March 2014.
Little piece in the Mail on Sunday about how Fine Gael are going to launch a think tank called The Michael Collins Institute, 'no details until launch' FG spokeperson says, no reference that they announced this last year at the conference.



The Martens Centre formely
Centre for European Policy Studies
About
The Wilfried Martens Centre for European Studies (previously the Centre for European Studies) was established in 2007 as the political foundation and official think tank of the European People’s Party (EPP). It embodies a pan-European mind-set based on centre-right, Christian Democrat, conservative and like-minded political values and research. It serves as a framework for national political foundations linked to member parties of the EPP, with 29 foundations currently members. The Martens Centre takes part in the preparation of EPP programmes and policy documents. It organises seminars and training on EU policies and on the process of European integration.
The Centre also contributes to formulating EU and national public policies. It produces research studies and books, policy briefs, and the twice-yearly European View journal. Its research activities are divided into six clusters: party structures and EU institutions, economic and social policies, EU foreign policy, environment and energy, values and religion, and new societal challenges. Through its papers, publication launches, conferences and online activities, the Martens Centre offers a platform for discussion among experts, politicians, policymakers and the European public. At the beginning of 2014, the Centre was renamed in honour of its late President and founder, Wilfried Martens, the EPP’s long-standing President and former Prime Minister of Belgium.

That pic taken at the Congress of the European People’s Party held in Dublin but the Collins Institute not yet listed Members of Marten Centre

John Bruton is on the Academic Council and chairman of the fundraising and events committee

I found a half built website in summer 2014 The Michael Collins Institute "Powerful citizens in a just republic".

About Us | Collins Institute
We are a policy think tank which has been tasked by Fine Gael with examining the long-term challenges facing Ireland.

The Collins Institute has been tasked with examining how a new Just Republic might be established in Ireland by 2022

The Collins Institute is a Fine Gael initiative. It is policy think tank which has been tasked with examining the long-term challenges facing Ireland and suggesting possible policy responses. In particular it will look at the way in which a truly Just Republic might be established in Ireland in the run-up to 2022, the centenary of both the founding of the Irish state and the death of Michael Collins. The Institute’s name recognises the crucial role which Collins played in the creation of the Irish state and the special position which he occupies in both the history and affections of many in the Fine Gael party.

Over the next 18-­-24 months the Collins Institute will issue a series of detailed working papers looking at how the six key principles listed above can best be reflected in public policy in a number of important areas. As a first very preliminary step we have analysed some of the key challenges that Ireland faces, viewed through the prism of each one of these principles.


Six Key Principals
Freedom, Equality and Solidarity
Sustainability, Accountability and Subsidiarity


the Institute focuses on
Just Republic
A Social Market
An Enabling State
Powerful Citizens
Strong Communities

The first report


Not much fanfare or notice for their first report The Just Republic 'Building A Citizen Focused Republic'. released on 30th of June 2014, no media coverage, no-one but me publically discussing it as far as I can see.

The work of the Institute is overseen by its Director, Dr Sean Faughnan, and a Board which is chaired by Marion Coy. A key goal of the Institute is to work closely with like-minded institutes and think tanks in other countries, particularly those which are associated with the European People’s Party. All papers published by the Institute are intended for discussion purposes only and do not represent Fine Gael policy.

Marion Coy Chair Mountbellew Agricultural College and former Director of the Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology Ceifin speaker Bio

Sean Faughnan a former investment banker who lives in a medival castle.
Banker who changed Enda's mind on Seanad Sunday Independent 08/09/2013 John Breenan.
A Little known investment banker turned medieval castle owner is today revealed as being the 'mastermind' behind the Government's plan to abolish the Seanad.

The guy who advised kenny to try to abolish the Seanad, I timelined his role here in Enda Kenny's Seanad flip flop based on a Vincent Brownes article, Cynical Seanad abolition stunt must not be rewarded - Political News | Irish & International Politics | The Irish Times - Wed, Jul 17, 2013

Seems like follow up to this Alan Dukes to head new FG policy commission which also included Sean Faughan which dealth with health policy and recommended a universal health insurance market. Sean Faughnan was a special advisor to the Minister for Health James Reilly. Reilly’s advisors announced Sara Burke 2011.

The report lots of talk about the Enabling State which the Guardian tells me is

The enabling state is the phrase used to describe the process whereby responsibility for delivering public services traditionally provided by the state is passed to private or voluntary organisations (or 'arms length' government agencies).Underpinning this is the idea that smaller, local and specialist providers are more effective and efficient at delivering publicly-funded services than large centralised bureaucracies (such as the NHS).

The Collins Institute Reports does say.
Ireland needs, in our view, a more proactive and Enabling State. One that rejects both the old centralised model of universal service delivery, built around a one size fits all approach, and the more recent public management approach which seeks to turn citizens into mere consumers. Public services should be judged, instead, by the extent to which they help build the capabilities of its citizens. The goal should be to create a system which is focused on the idea of "social productivity" (more people reaching more of their potential) instead of the rather passive idea of “social security” (a basic safety net which, while absolutely essential, does very little to change people’s prospects). The Enabling State recognises that it has a duty to protect its most vulnerable citizens, who may require sustained assistance from government, and to help provide all citizens with the supports they need to take more control of their own lives. However, it also insists that citizens have an obligation, in turn, to do everything they can to become more independent and self-sufficient.

It seems to be PR for the privatisation and outsourcing and cuts and attacks on the social safety net dressed up as political philosophy.

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