Declan Breathnach TD
Louth (and East Meath)

28th November 2019

 

Breathnach questions Taoiseach on Brexit threat to EU border funding

 

– Breathnach asked the Taoiseach about funding from EU PEACE IV and INTERREG programmes-
 

Fianna Fáil TD and party spokesperson on cross-border co-operation Declan Breathnach asked the Taoiseach if the Government had discussed Ireland’s future in the EU PEACE and INTERREG programmes with EU officials and if Brexit had threatened these programmes.

 

PEACE is a European Union initiative designed to support peace and reconciliation in Northern Ireland and the border counties of Ireland. The Programme invested €270 million in the region from 2014 to 2020. €229 million is being provided through the European Regional Development Fund with the Irish and UK governments providing an additional €41 million of match funding.

 

INTERREG is an EU programme aimed at helping to overcome the issues that arise between regions due to the existence of a border. Of the €276 million to be invested into the area from 2017-2022, €240m is to be provided through the European Regional Development Fund. The remaining €43m is match-funded by the Irish Government and the Northern Ireland Executive.

 

Speaking in the Dáil, Breathnach said “There is a commitment in the programme for Government, to protect the Good Friday Agreement and the interests of the people north and south of the Border. What is being done in respect of the ongoing and planned projects and innovations in the Border region? What discussions have the Taoiseach and the Department of Finance had with EU officials in respect of cross-Border projects post 2020 in order to ensure that PEACE, INTERREG and other trans-territorial programmes will be available in a post-Brexit scenario?”

 

The Taoiseach replied saying “ Both INTERREG and PEACE funding are of enormous value to Northern Ireland and the Border counties. The question the Deputy has asked is a very pertinent one. It has been agreed in principle that there will be a new programme called PEACE PLUS, which will replace the PEACE programmes which preceded it. There will still be funding for Border projects and projects in Northern Ireland. I am endeavouring to secure the ongoing inclusion of Northern Ireland, and indeed Wales, in INTERREG.”

 

Commenting after this Breathnach concluded “These are vital programmes for the people of Louth and indeed every border county North and South. We mustn’t let Brexit undermine the hard work that has been put in for the last 20 years in winning and maintaining peace in the region.”

 
-Ends-

Declan Breathnach T.D., Leinster House, Dublin 2 (Declan – 087 2697638)
(T) 01 6183549 (Email) declan.breathnach@oireachtas.ie