Continuation of PEACE Funding integral to success of peace process
Sinn Féin MEP Bairbre de Brún has welcomed proposals from the European Commission to extend PEACE funding until 2006. It is proposed that EU funding of €60 million for the PEACE Programme and €15 million for the International Fund for Ireland (IFI) will be provided per year for 2005 and 2006.
Speaking today from Brussels, Ms de Brún said:
"Through its Special Support Programme for Peace and Reconciliation and its contribution to the International Fund for Ireland, the EU has given practical support to peace building, reconciliation and social inclusion here.
I commend the European Union for its continued support for the peace process in Ireland and I welcome proposals for an extension to Peace II and IFI until 2006 based on an understanding that peace building and conflict resolution is a long term process.
I am disappointed that the British government has not sought the same amount of money as in the previous period and call on them to ensure that the community activity and cross-border element is protected.
All actors must now work together in an open and transparent fashion to make best use of the Peace II extension and to secure a third peace programme (PeaceIII). I pledge to do all in my power to make this happen." ENDS