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EU's PEACE programme to bring EUR 1.1 bn to Nth Ireland and borders

13 July 2022, 21:40 CET
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EU's PEACE programme to bring EUR 1.1 bn to Nth Ireland and borders

Northern Ireland - Photo by Ivan Lada on Pexels

(BRUSSELS) - The EU Commission adopted PEACE PLUS Wednesday, a new cross-border programme to strengthen peace and reconciliation and cooperation between Ireland and Northern Ireland.

The programme combines the previous INTERREG and PEACE funding strands into a new programme for the 2021-2027 EU period. The EU is to invest EUR 235 million from the European Territorial Cooperation allocation of the European Regional Development Fund.

Together with the UK's financial commitment and additional national co-financing from Ireland and Northern Ireland, this will result in a total investment of €1.1 billion in peace and prosperity on the island of Ireland.

"The EU has proven time and again its commitment to the Good Friday (Belfast) Agreement," said EC vice-president Maros Sefcovic: "Today is another concrete example of that support – together with the Irish and British governments, the new PEACE PLUS programme will provide around €1 billion to Northern Ireland and the border counties."

The programme will target investment in six key thematic areas:

  • Building Peaceful and Thriving Communities
  • Delivering Economic Regeneration and Transformation
  • Empowering and Investing in Our Young People
  • Healthy and Inclusive Communities
  • Supporting a Sustainable and Better-Connected Future
  • Building and Embedding Partnership and Collaboration

Local partnerships will help regenerating and transforming local communities in a peaceful context with respect for all cultural identities.

The well-being of young people is essential for long-term peace and prosperity in the region. The programme will therefore pay special attention to their needs and potential through an ambitious youth programme and shared learning.

Rural communities along the border face particular challenges, such as access to health care, which may result in inequalities. By supporting cross community and cross border collaborative approaches to health and social care, the programme helps building healthy and socially inclusive communities.

Investments in economic regeneration and transformation, which used to be funded under the INTERREG Ireland - Northern Ireland - Scotland programme, have now been integrated in the PEACE PLUS programme to complement the investments in peace and reconciliation. These will help growing the potential of local small and medium businesses and drive the promotion and adoption of new technologies through research and innovation. The funds will also address key skills gaps, which will result in increased productivity and employment and higher levels of cross border labour mobility.

The Commission says the PEACE PLUS programme will also contribute to the transition to a green and climate-resilient society. It will invest in pilot projects for geothermal energy and improve cross border mobility on the rail line between Belfast and Dublin, essential for economic and social cohesion.

PEACE PLUS programme

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