Government Needs to Plan Now For Ending of Objective 1 Status
Sinn Féin EU candidate Bairbre de Brún continued her campaign today visiting a number of areas in Belfast.
While on the campaign trail she called on the British and Irish governments to 'plan now for the ending of Objective 1 status in 2006'.
Ms de Brún said:
'Ireland, north and south, has been a major recipient of EU structural funds over the past decade. This important source of funding comes to an end in 2006. In addition EU funding structures will adopt a new structure from that date. Existing Objective categories will be replaced by a series of Priorities.
'The majority of funding will be spent on a new Cohesion fund, which Ireland will not be eligible for. However under priorities dealing with employability, training and all Ireland development funds are available.
'Sinn Féin is committed to ensuring that Ireland receives the largest possible allocation post 2006 and this money is spent in the most effective and strategic manor.
'In addition we are continuing to lobby both the Irish and British government and the EU Commission to ensure that peace funding continued after the ending of the current Peace II programme.
'Sinn Fein has argued for some time that future structural and peace funds need to focus on tackling discrimination and social exclusion, furthering all Ireland development and securing national reconciliation. In addition the community sector and local communities need to be given a greater role in designing and implementing any future funding programmes' ENDS