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Opportunities for North West region explored at European Parliament

6 December, 2006


Sinn Féin MEP Bairbre de Brún has today hosted a 25 strong delegation from the North West to the European Parliament in Brussels. Included in the delegation are those from business and community sectors, chambers of commerce and elected political representatives.

Ms de Brún said that the aim of the visit was to 'explore and discuss practical ways in which the EU can aid the development of the North West region'.

Speaking today Ms de Brún said:

"I am pleased to welcome this delegation from the counties of Derry, Donegal and Tyrone to the European Parliament today.

"In a series of meetings with the European Commission, MEPs and others, we will explore the opportunities for an integrated approach to development in the North West or Ireland, which remains the most disadvantaged region in the country in terms of infrastructure and service provision.

"Support for valuable cross border planning and development is crucial if the North West is to become a competitive region, and the EU has a huge role to play in assisting this region to fulfil its massive potential.

"Today's series of meetings with the European Commission and MEPs will look not only at the next round of EU funding both for cross-border work and for PEACE and IFI but will look at other proposals from the EU that could benefit closer working between local structures in the border areas.

"The European Commission will today discuss new guidelines on state aid and we will also explore what flexibility this provides for providing help to promote prosperity and balanced regional development in the North West."ENDS

Note to Editor:

The delegation includes representatives from Chambers of Commerce and community organisations in Derry, Donegal and Tyrone as well as elected political representatives.. Sinn Féin representatives include Sinn Féin General Secretary, Mitchel McLaughlin, and Councillors Padraig Mac Lochlainn, Pearse Doherty, Gerry MacLochlainn, Sean McPeake and Jarlath McNulty

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