Sinn Féin meets East Border Region over EU Funding
Sinn Féin Louth TD Gerry Adams, and party colleague Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD met delegates from the East Border Region programme in the Dáil on Thursday July 7th.
The purpose of the meeting was to discuss how funding from the EU, which is invested in projects and supported by Councils in the north and south, can be protected and sustained following the Brexit vote.
The East Border Region body covers six local authorities; those of Louth, Monaghan, Meath, Newry, Mourne and Down, Armagh and Craigavon, and Ards and North Down.
Speaking after the meeting Gerry Adams said:
“The comprehensive briefing by the representatives from the East Border Region emphasised the significant funding that this region has secured in the last 16 years through the EU’s Interreg programme. Almost €50 million has been invested in economic development, tourism, education and much more.
“The East Border Region body is now understandably concerned at the risk the Brexit vote raises for the 19 projects it is currently developing worth 132 million euro.
“The Special EU Programmes Body has warned that ‘all EU Programmes, including PEACE 1V and INTERREG VA will form part of the discussions that are to take place between the UK government and the European Union during the upcoming negotiations.’
“I assured the delegation that Sinn Féin will use whatever influence we have to press for a continuation of the funding and security for the projects involved.
“I raised this matter with the Taoiseach on Wednesday in the Dáil. In his response, he acknowledged the difficulties arising from the Brexit vote. He said: ‘This is a stalled process now as we are here, so we need to have our North-South bodies in such a position that they can continue to plan for projects. That is an issue’.
“I made it clear to the East Border Region representatives that Sinn Féin will do all we can through the Executive, the Dáil and our MEPs in Europe to press the Irish and British governments and the European Commission to financially underpin the projects that are in the pipeline and to try and expedite their delivery.”