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de Brún welcomes proposal to extend PEACE II and IFI Funding

25 November, 2004

Sinn Féin MEP Bairbre de Brún has this morning welcomed a recommendation for approval, for the extension of the PEACE II Programme. Ms de Brún voted to support a draft report by Jim Nicholson MEP, recommending that the programme be extended for a further two years.

Ms de Brún was speaking after a meeting of the EU Committee on Regional Development, which supported the extension of PEACE Funding and the International Fund for Ireland (IFI). She also expressed the hope that full European Parliament and European Council approval can be secured before the end of the year.

Speaking from Brussels Ms de Brún said:

"I want to welcome the report by EU Regional Development Committee rapporteur Jim Nicholson, who this morning presented a proposal on extending the PEACE II Programme and the International Fund for Ireland for a further two years. The warm response from the committee is also very heartening at this time and is a cause for hope that the full parliament will give its support and backing in plenary next month.

"Sinn Féin recognises the importance of the PEACE Programme to a continuing process of conflict resolution in Ireland. PEACE funding is vitally important if we are to help promote national reconciliation and the peace process. A positive signal from the European Union at this stage of the peace process would be very important.

"At this morning's meeting of the EU Regional Development Committee, I spoke of the positive impact of PEACE and IFI. I also reiterated my previous calls for social community-based projects to be prioritised, and particularly the importance of social inclusion and the role of women in reconciliation. ENDS

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