Sinn Féin MEP Chris MacManus
Sinn Féin Midlands Northwest MEP Chris MacManus has called on the government’s plan relating to the EU Recovery Fund to specifically focus on the Northwest region.
The needs of the Northwest were outlined in a Sinn Féin submission to the plan by MacManus and by Sinn Féin’s Public Expenditure spokesperson, Mairéad Farrell TD.
Mr MacManus said: “Ireland stands to gain up to €1.2bn from the EU’s €750bn Recovery Fund. The Northwest must be prioritised within the plan and utilise synergies with other funds to maximise a Northwest investment package. I am pleased that Sinn Féin has proposed this initiative.”
The Recovery Fund along with PEACE Plus, Sinn Féin’s proposals on regional aid guidelines, structural funds and the Brexit Fund offer the opportunity to put together a comprehensive investment plan for the Northwestern region.
“This region has actually slipped in relative terms from being a ‘developed region’ to a region ‘in transition’. It begs the question – in transition to what? It is appalling that this has come to pass but it highlights deep structural and investment issues in the north, west and border area of the Irish state.
“Brexit brings an even deeper problem. The distance from Galway, the largest city in the West of Ireland, to Brest in France, our nearest EU landpoint, is over 800km. The need for investment has never been greater.”
Mr MacManus concluded, “The North West Regional Assembly must be involved in this plan and the Recovery Fund must be the linchpin in an investment plan that maximise the synergies of these funds.”
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