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de Brún says Executive must take advantage of Commissioner's "Recovery Plan"

2 December, 2008 - by Martina Anderson MEP

The Executive must grasp the new opportunities for early access to EU funding announced today by Commissioner Huebner according to Sinn Féin Regional Development MEP Bairbre de Brún.

Speaking after today's announcement in Brussels by Commissioner Huebner of a package of measures designed to stimulate the EU economy during the economic downturn Ms de Brún stated:

"In the past the North has at times missed out on such golden opportunities. Now with our Executive up and running and given our close cooperation with the European Commission through the Task Force we have a great chance to seize the initiative. The Commissioner also informed me and my fellow MEPs of her determination to simplify the structural funds regulations- something I am sure that will add to the importance of us not missing out this time around."

"These measures include a relaxation on the rules allowing direct support to our SMEs, more scope for pre-payments as opposed to post-payments for major projects and the inclusion of energy efficiency and renewable energy in low-income households. All of these measures hold great possibilities for us to inject much needed finance into the economy. Overall these proposals represent a huge opportunity, a sort of EU "Recovery Plan" for us to kick-start many projects which otherwise could have fallen victim to the economic uncertainty

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