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Visit of Powerful EU Regional Committee

6 September, 2007

Sinn Féin MEP Bairbre de Brún has said that she is delighted that the EU's Regional Development Committee has accepted proposals to visit Ireland and the North and North West in particular.

Speaking after details of the European Parliament's Regional Development Committee visit to Ireland were announced Ms de Brún said:

"I am delighted that the European Parliament's Regional Development Committee has accepted my proposal to visit Ireland and to visit the North and North West in particular. Monday's visit will see the first European Parliament delegation to visit Stormont since the Executive was formed on 8 May.

"The visit has attracted a lot of interest because of the new situation in the North. As we saw with the visit of European Commission President Barroso and Regional Development Commissioner Danuta Huebner, those in the EU institutions are very interested in seeing at first hand what is happening here in respect of programmes and projects supported by Europe.

"It is also important that the delegation will travel further afield than the Eastern seaboard corridor. I am glad that the European Parliament committee has agreed to visit the border area and look at cross-border work carried out with EU funds.

Welcoming the visit, West Tyrone MP Pat Doherty described it as a golden opportunity for the North West.
The West Tyrone Sinn Féin MP said that the visit of the EU's Regional Development Committee MEPs for an intensive series of engagements in Donegal on Monday and Tuesday will provide a golden opportunity for key stakeholders from throughout the North West to lobby, with a united voice, for enhanced support for the infrastructural and economic needs of the region

He said,

"The North West region was not included in the original plan of this powerful EU Committee's fact finding mission to Ireland, so I would like to take this opportunity to commend my party colleague Bairbre de Brún MEP for securing, after intensive lobbying, the inclusion of this series of engagements with key stakeholders the North West in the itinerary of this delegation.

"The first engagement for the MEP delegation will be at Lifford Courthouse (PEACE funded) at 4 pm on Monday where recipient groups of EU funding will showcase their projects through stands and discuss the various socio-economic benefits that been brought to the region as a result and particularly those with a strong cross-border dimension.

"The delegation will travel to Jackson' Hotel in Ballybofey, where it will meet with the chief executives and chairpersons of the local councils; representatives of the north west cross border council partnership (NWCBG) and officials from the Special EU Programmes Body (SEUPB) and the IFI. Before leaving on Tuesday morning, the delegation will have a working breakfast with chambers of commerce from throughout the North West.

"At a time when we are preparing for the new territorial cooperation/ Interrreg measures it is a golden opportunity to make a unified case for the region directly to these MEPs." ENDS

Note to Editors:

  • Bairbre de Brún will be available to brief the media on the visit, tomorrow, Friday 7th September at 10 am at Stormont. Contact Éamann 07936316791
  • During their 3 day long stay here the delegation will also be meeting with the First and Deputy First Minister, the North/South Ministerial Council and the Dublin government.
  • For further information or seeking interviews with Pat Doherty or Bairbre de Brún on the importance of this visit by the delegation contact Colman: 02871886464.

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