Skip to main content


Political system

Ireland is a parliamentary republic consisting of 26 counties. The prime minister (Taoiseach) who is the head of government is appointed by the president after nomination by the Lower House (Dail) and exercises executive power. The president who is the head of state mostly has ceremonial powers.

The Parliament has 2 chambers (an Upper and Lower House).

Trade and economy

Ireland ranks second in the European Union in terms of GDP per capita with €83 300, well above the EU average (€35 500). It accounts for 2.8% of the EU's total GDP.

(Source: Eurostat - figures for GDP per capita and GDP)

(Source: Eurostat - figures for exports and imports)

Ireland in the EU

Budgets and funding

How much does Ireland pay and receive from the EU?   

The EU budget is the tool to ensure that Europe remains a democratic, peaceful, prosperous and competitive force. The EU uses it to finance its priorities and big projects that most individual EU countries could not finance on their own.

The benefits of EU membership significantly exceed the size of the EU budget contributions and the examples are many. All Member States benefit from being part of the Single Market, a shared approach to the common challenges of migration, terrorism and climate change, and concrete gains like better transport infrastructure, modernised and digitalised public services and cutting-edge medical treatment.

How much each EU country pays into the EU budget is calculated fairly. The larger your country's economy, the more it pays – and vice versa.

The EU budget is not about giving and taking – it’s about collectively contributing to making Europe and the world a better place for us all.

EU budget spending and revenue per country and per year


EU-funded projects in Ireland

Money from the EU budget helps fund programmes and projects in all EU countries – for example to build roads, subsidise researchers and protect the environment.

Find out more about how Ireland benefits from EU funding and recovery funds in your country or region.