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Sinn Féin MEPs meet with Special EU Programmes Body to discuss way forward

1 August, 2006

Sinn Féin MEPs Bairbre de Brún and Mary Lou McDonald led a party delegation to meet with Pat Colgan, Shaun Henry and Eileen McGloin from the Special EU Programmes Body in Belfast today.

Both Sinn Féin MEPs raised various issues with the body including the state of play with PEACE III funding, territorial co-operation funds and the on-going development of SEUPB as an all Ireland body. The meeting looked at the period ahead and the strategic contribution that the SEUPB and EU funding can make to social and economic development on the island. Sinn Féin is particularly keen that both governments make the most of opprtunities for cross-border and all Ireland work and have stressed that this needs to go far beyond the areas where the EU stipulates the necessity for cross-border plans.

Speaking today Ms de Brún said:

"Today's meeting with SEUPB was both informative and important. In the course of the meeting we raised a number of issues about the state of play with regard to PEACE III and other EU funding in the 2007 - 2013 period. We got a good sense of where the SEUPB see the opportunities in the time ahead and expanded on some issues we have raised during the period of consultation.

"We stressed that a strategic approach to targetting funds must take account of opportunities for grassroots participation. Sinn Féin has consistently argued that any future funding must have grassroots participation at its core during both the design and delivery of such programmes." ENDS

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