Sinn Féin - On Your Side

Sinn Féin MEP raises EU funding concerns with Peter Hain at European Parliament today

6 June, 2006

Sinn Féin MEP Bairbre de Brún will met British Direct Rule Minister Peter Hain at the European Parliament in Brussels this afternoon.

Ms de Brún met with Peter Hain to discuss European Structural Funding for the six counties and border regions from 2007 - 2013.

Speaking from Brussels Ms de Brún said:

"Sinn Fein has submitted a detailed response to the British Government's consultation on the framework for European Union funding for the next seven years and expressing concerns regarding the British Government‚s priorities for such funding.

"Today's meeting was an opportunity to raise our concerns with the British Secretary of State face to face. In particular we stressed the importance of social inclusion, and balanced and sustainable development. We argued for a greater focus on the social economy, on combating discrimination and on overcoming the handicaps of division. We expressed our disappointment that the consultation has shown no real attempt to date to achieve the necessary all-Ireland synergies in the use of EU funds in the next period.

"Failure to adequately focus on these issues will simply deepen the existing socio-economic disparities within the local economy, creating a greater gap between those who benefit from any increase in competitiveness and those who don't." ENDS

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