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Community groups must continue to be funded after PEACE funding - de Brún MEP

14 May, 2008

Sinn Féin MEP Bairbre de Brún, speaking prior to next week's European Parliament vote on her evaluation report of the PEACE programme and strategies for the future, has said that community groups that are carrying our vital work must continue to be financially supported after PEACE funding ends and that this is particularly important for those with victims and survivors of the conflict.

Ms de Brún said,

"Next week the EU parliament will vote on my report on the EU-funded PEACE programme. The report is an evaluation of the PEACE programme and of strategies for the future.

"It was written in consultation with grassroots activists involved in PEACE and reflects the great work done for peace building and national reconciliation through PEACE.

"It comes at a time when we have seen the launch of Peace III, the launch of the EU Taskforce report and a hugely successful investment conference.

"A major point from my report is the need that peace building programmes, in particular those involving victims and survivors groups and other community and voluntary groups, continue to be financially supported.

"The voluntary and community sectors are renowned for their achievements in confronting social decline and deprivation and are well-placed to develop and provide frontline services for the most disadvantaged in society.

"Community and voluntary initiatives funded under PEACE II are operating on an ongoing basis providing essential community services for marginalised groups in particular.

"I would urge the active involvement of the community and voluntary sector as well as local councils in the roll-out of PEACE III and for the statutory sector to mainstream valuable work once PEACE funding comes to an end.

"Mholfainn go mbeadh an earnáil dheonach agus na comhairlí áitiúla gníomhach I gcur I bhfeidhm PEACE III. Tá se rí-thábhachtach fosta nach stopfaidh an chomhoibriú idir rannpháirtithe i gcláir arna mhaoiniú ag PEACE agus CIÉ nuair a thiocfaidh an clár chun deiridh agus iarraim iar ranna rialtais cistiú príomhshruthaithe a chinntiú don obair luachmhar seo ar chríochnú don cistiúchán PEACE. Iarraim orthu ach go háirithe obair le íospairtigh agus le marthanóirí a chinntiú.

"Victims and survivors groups have a dependency on non-recurring PEACE funding and therefore must be safeguarded in the future as regards how they will proceed when PEACE funding is no longer available."


Note to Editor:

Bairbre de Brún MEP and Danuta Huebner, Commissioner for Regional Development at the European Commission will hold a press conference in the European Parliament in Strasbourg next Tuesday at 9.15am on the evaluation of the PEACE programme.

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