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Positive Meeting with Paisley and McGuinness on EU Taskforce - de Brún

19 July, 2007

Sinn Féin MEP, Bairbre de Brún has described as positive today's meeting with First Minister Ian Paisley and Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness which looked at the EU Task Force to explore how best EU support for underpinning the peace process can be maximised.

The meeting at Stormont Castle, which was held at Ms de Brún's request, discussed progress to date on the commitment given by European Commission President, José Manuel Barroso, during his visit to the North in May this year, to set up a Taskforce to ensure that all potential funding streams are fully examined.

Speaking after the meeting Ms de Brún said:

"I am encouraged that a positive and dynamic relationship between the Executive and the EU is being be developed and I am happy to assist in any way I can. The First and Deputy First Ministers made it clear that they would both welcome and appreciate the involvement of the north's MEPs.

"We must ensure that we achieve progress by way of attracting much needed investment in terms of good employment opportunities and the necessary underlying infrastructure. There is a clear need to develop cross border approaches to the delivery of public services and the development of the wider economy. There must be balanced regional development in the time ahead.

"To date the EU has played an important contribution in underpinning the peace process and through various funding streams such as the Peace Programmes, Structural Funds, the Social Fund and funding for Rural Development."

Ms de Brún met recently with Regional Development Commissioner Danuta Huebner and has also requested a meeting with European Commission President, José Manuel Barroso to discuss the work of the Taskforce.


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