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Sinn Fein Delegation Attends Peripheral Regions Conference in Lapland

23 June, 2006


Sinn Fein Mayor of Buncrana Padraig MacLochlainn will travel with MEP Bairbre de Brún tomorow on a four day long conference on EU peripheral regions in Kiruna, Sweden. The event will bring together MEPs from large number of EU member states to look at the impact of peripheral underdevelopment and its causes. The conference will also explore practical solutions to peripherality. Speakers from Portugal, Ireland, Greence and Sweeden will look at the specific situations in each country as part of a process of sharing knowwledge and experience of the relevant issues.

Sinn Fein Mayor of Buncrana Pádraig MacLochlainn will address the issue of infrastructural underdevelopment in the North west of Ireland, with a specific focus on the benefits of cross border development as a key driver in regeneration of Ireland's most peripheral region.

Speaking before the delegations departure, MEP Bairbre de Brún said:

'The North west of Ireland has experienced decades of underinvestment from governments in Dublin and London. As a consequence the region experiences greater levels of underdevelopment, unemployment, and lower levels of public service and infrastructural provision.

'Of course the North west is not unique in this regard. Across the European Union there are peripheral regions whose experience shares many similar characteristics. The purpose of this conference is to allow MEPs to explore the similarities and particularly to focus on how best to overcome the levels of underdevelopment that accompanies peripherality. In addition the European Union has a role in assisting national and local government in addressing these issues.

'Clearly there are important expierences which we in Ireland can learn from other European regions. Our colleagues from other member states can also learn from the Irish experience.' ENDS

The four day series of events in Lapland will also explore issues such as trafficking in women.

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