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A €1.1 billion cross-border peace programme, which could see millions in funding coming to Leitrim, has been submitted to the European Commission.
The ‘Peace Plus’ programme, which combines the previous INTERREG and PEACE cross-border funding strands, cover the period from 2021-27 EU programming period, and will support projects across in the bordering counties of the Republic and counties in Northern Ireland.
The programme has already been approved by governments on both sides of the border, as well as the North South Ministerial Council, at the end of 2021. Last week it was submitted by the Special EU Programmes Body (SEUPB) for approval, with an aim of launching it later this year.
Speaking after it was submitted on Thursday, Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Michael McGrath TD, said the new Peace Plus programme represented more than twice the value of the current INTERREG and PEACE programmes, the largest single cross-border EU programme ever seen here, and was “an unprecedented investment in the history of EU cross-border programmes on the island of Ireland.” This is a programme of magnitude, which will have an enduring legacy for communities on both sides of the border,” said Minister McGrath.
“I want in particular to acknowledge the joint commitment of the EU, the UK and Ireland to Peace Plus throughout its development process since 2019.
“Peace Plus demonstrates our shared and ongoing commitment to fostering peace and reconciliation. I also want to commend the SEUPB, as well as our stakeholders on the Programme Development Steering Group, for their unstinting work to develop and finalise the new programme.”
The content of the new programme was shaped by extensive engagement and consultation, including close collaboration between government departments North and South to identify areas for cross-border partnership under Peace Plus, and two public consultations.
The programme has been structured around six thematic cross-border investment areas. These include building peaceful and thriving communities, delivering economic transformation, empower and investing in young people, and building partnerships.
For full details of the themes, investment areas, and for potential applicants, visit www.seupb.eu/peaceplus
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