Foreign affairs and Trade Minister Charlie Flanagan had highlighted the allocations within the 2016 budget for the ongoing modernization of passport service, additional development of consular assistance capacities and continuous support for the people of Ireland and the Diaspora groups around the world.
Around 11.6 million Euros will be allocated as funds for the Emigrant Support Programme of the government.
The minister also confirms that the job creation, growth in export, promotion of Ireland investment, education and tourism will stay and develop as the key priorities for the foreign affairs and trade department and diplomatic missions’ networks of Ireland.
7% increase in the budget has brought the total budget to the 640 million Euros.
The Minister stated that the passport demand has increased in the last fifteen years with an increase of 6,30,000 in the year 2014 when compared to 3,88,000 in the year 2000. Already 5,80,000 passports have been issued this year which is an increase of 8.7% when compared to the last year figures during the same period.
He also said that he has intended to introduce new and world class technologies for radically reshaping how the passports of Ireland will be delivered during the next three years and a total of 4 million Euros has been secured in the budget for achieving this goal.
According to him, last week he announced the activation of the Passport Card Project, as part of our much-focused plan for modernization. And more than 6,000 passports cards were applied in the first week itself.
Flanagan said that he was extremely pleased that the government had launched the diaspora policy known as “Global Irish”.