Anderson Defends Cross Border Bodies
Martina Anderson MEP has strongly reiterated her support for the role of Cross Border organisations in Ireland.
Ms Anderson spoke in Brussels today to a delegation of five Cross-Border Groups at a partnership seminar exploring new funding programmes, opportunities and support.
"I was privileged today to meet with a variety of groups who are working in the border regions of Ireland. The role these groups play is vital to our communities.
"The towns and counties along the border are the most deprived and under developed areas of the island. As a Sinn Féin MEP I am committed to helping these groups attain the necessary funding from Europe in order to carry out work that will boost struggling economies and encourage employment and growth in these deprived areas.
"Unfortunately we have seen cuts to PEACE and INTERREG funding from Europe in the recent Budgets. That is why it is necessary to have these groups here with us in Brussels to disseminate knowledge on how to pursue new streams of European funding.
"It is also crucial that the work carried out by cross border groups is highlighted to the new European Commission. For example the North West Region Cross Border Group facilitates partnership and co-ordination between local authorities in Derry, Donegal and Tyrone. ICBAN has completed a comprehensive strategic planning process for the central border region and has secured over €10 million to date
I will be working closely with my colleague Matt Carthy and other MEPS in Europe to ensure that cross border collaboration is supported.
We will be making inquiries to the Special EU Programmes Body as to why such vital funds are being cut and making a case to guarantee the future of North/South cooperation.