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de Brún urges Assembly to embrace new cross-border potential

30 January, 2008 - by Martina Anderson MEP

The European Parliament Regional Development committee have taken an initiative in Brussels today to push for action in releasing the potential of the proposed European Groupings of Territorial Cooperation (EGTC).

Commenting on this initiative, Sinn Féin MEP and committee on Regional Development member Bairbre de Brún has said:

"The European Groupings of Territorial (EGTC) will create new dynamics in cross-border cooperation, make cross-border, transnational and inter-regional cooperation much easier and allow for a greater level of trust and cooperation to be seen across borders. These groupings can be used to provide a wide range of public services on a cross-border basis and this is not restricted to schemes using EU funds. I urge local government and the Assembly to make full use of this new legal instrument.

"Ireland has a great need to explore all possibilities for cross-border territorial cooperation given that our border counties are our poorest and most underdeveloped counties. The time for delays and excuses has passed; Member States have a duty to their border regions to implement the EGTC legislation as soon as possible.

"A number of EU backed schemes have already played a significant role in diminishing the disastrous effects of partition in Ireland. The logic of sensible, accountable cross-border cooperation as a European ideal is one I fully support." Críoch

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