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De Brún welcomes proposal on All Ireland approach to Transport and Energy

26 October, 2005

Speaking during a debate in the European Parliament last night Sinn Féin MEP Bairbre de Brún welcomed a proposal by the European Commission on developing cross border transport and energy networks. The proposal will see a substantial EU investment in assiting member states who wish to develop cross border transport and energy infrastructure projects. These are funds that Ireland North and South will be able to bid for.

Ms de Brún said:

Ba mhaith liom fáilte a chur roimh an mholadh seo ón Choimisiún faoi ghréasáin fuinneamh agus taisteal tras-Eorpach. Thig leis an Choimisiún cistí a úsáid chun tacú le staidéir a choimisiniú, chun fóirdheontais a thabhairt do rannóga gréasáin a thógáil agus, más cuí, feidhm a bhaint as fóirdheontais eile, cuir i gcás, aisíoctaí ar rátaí úis, iasachtaí bannaí nó rannpháirtíocht i gcistí rachmas amharantach.

Tacaím le gnéithe seo de mholadh an Choimisiúin ina n-iomlán.

I would like to welcome the proposal from the Commission.

Financial aid in the field of the trans-European transport and energy networks is important for maximising the benefits of cross border cooperation and infrastructural integration.

The European Community can contribute to this process by encouraging cooperation, promoting models of best practice and providing financial assistance.

This will have practical benefits for my constituency in terms of networks across the island of Ireland and beyond, as I am sure will be the case for many other constituencies. Indeed, I had the pleasure of discussing this with the Commissioner on his visit to Ireland earlier this year. In a country, as small as Ireland, adopting an all Island approach to the development of transport and energy networks makes both economic and political sense.

"The Commission can usefully utilise funds to support the commissioning of studies, to subsidise the construction of network sections, and where appropriate to employ other forms of subsidy such as interest rate rebates, loan guarantees or participation in risk capital funds

"I fully support these aspects of the Commissions proposals.

"I personally have concerns, however, when such instruments are used to see the further privatisation of public services, whether they be in transport infrastructure, which is still largely publicly funded or in energy supplies in those cases where they are still in public hands. This is something I could not support." ENDS

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