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Sinn Féin launches re-unification through planned integration strategy paper

15 October, 2003


Speaking at the launch of the Sinn Féin strategy paper 'Re-unification through planned integration', Newry/Armagh representative Conor Murphy said:

"Partition is detrimental to the development of what is described as the Border Corridor. The EU recognises partition as the key factor in the disadvantage experienced by deprived communities along the border. This disadvantage is both structural, through the inadequacy of infrastructure, and systemic in terms of discrimination and partitionist mindsets in both administrations, which have actively opposed the social and economic logic integration across the border.

"Along with the representatives of other parties and the wider civic society encompassing Trade Union, Community, Voluntary and Private Sectors, Sinn Féin sits on all three Cross-Border Corridor Groups. It is important that the opportunities offered to both local communities and statutory authorities in progressing the agenda for meaningful integration is exploited to their limits.

"A key task for all republicans is to engage in this arena and to fully utilise the potential offered for building re-unification through integrative policies and projects. The strategy sets out a path by which we will be able to join with other progressive forces on the island of Ireland in identifying and developing concrete integrative proposals. These can take several approaches ˆ whether through campaign work, outreach and consultation or through the support of appropriate initiatives from community groups, businesses, statutory authorities and agencies. This strategy is appropriate to political activists at every level within our party and within every section of society that wishes to see this region developed to its full potential. We invite all interested parties to join with us in this project.

"In launching this strategy paper we are focussing clearly on the potential offered by the availability of EU funding for projects that will progress meaningful integration across the Border Corridor.

"At the centre of this process, Sinn Féin is calling on both governments to produce progressive, research-based, integrated area plans which will support applications made under Interreg 111b and 111c in addition to determining the appropriate nature of applications under Interreg 111a. Furthermore, it is essential that the manner in which these plans are developed is truly democratic and based on the best principles of participatory democracy with the creation of representative participatory fora.

"We look forward to the public launch of this strategy paper at a conference in Palace Stables Heritage Centre, Palace Domain, Armagh on Saturday 18th October. The conference will be opened by the Mayor of Armagh, Councillor Pat‚Rawe."ENDS

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