"Irish and British governments must ensure a Peace IV funding programme" Anderson MEP
"The public consultation onthe next round of EU funding for Peace and Interreg programmes in Ireland isnow taking place and we must ensurethat future funding makes a positive difference to the lives and living conditions of those most in need", said Sinn Fein MEP Martina Anderson, as she submitted her party's contribution to the consultation on the new programmes for the 2014-2020 period.
Speaking in Belfast at the offices of the SEUPB (Special EU Programmes Body), she reiteratedSinn Féin's call on the British and Irish governments to ensure a Peace IV programme. Martina Anderson said:"Much remains to be done, and the governments need to ensure a well-funded programme from the European Commission. The regulations allow for a Peace IV fund, so we must all work together to ensure this happens.A Peace IV programme should be funded directly from Europe and not taken out of the allocation being handed down to the two governments to finance any other EU programmes."
On Sinn Féin's submission to the SEUPB consultation currently under way, Anderson said,
"EUROPEANfunding must be about tackling objective need. Funding should not be skewed towards groups or communities on the basis of anecdotal stories of feeling left behind, or left out. Objective need is the criterion which clearly sets out with no ambiguity those who are most in need of help."
She continued, "We welcome the injection of funds to the North, and to the border counties of the South, which EU cohesion policy provides, and we must work to ensure that it continues and produces maximum benefit. Something of an industry of largeorganisations well able to navigate their ways through the complex application procedures, to receive funding has emerged - but too often for projects which result in little or no tangible benefit to local communities.
"The criteria must be simplified to allow small, local groups to apply and the procedures for assessment of applications must also be streamlined and considerably accelerated to produce results on the ground. Our party submission "EU Funding - Making a Difference" outlines Sinn Féin's thoughts on these and other matters on the operation of the new programmes".