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Here's how much money Europe is giving us over the next seven years...

…and how it’s going to be spent.

THE EUROPEAN UNION will invest more than €3 billion in Ireland over the next seven years.

Public Expenditure Minister Brendan Howlin said that the money will be spent on tackling long-term and youth unemployment, research and development, and improving our competitiveness in the business sector.

Ireland has secured funding of €2.2 billion from the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development, €1.2 billion as part of Europe’s ‘cohesion policy’, and  €148 million from the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund, for the period 2014-2020.

EU Agriculture Commissioner and former Environment Minister Phil Hogan announced the news in Brussels yesterday.

Here’s how some of the money will be spent:

  • €100 million for the Border, Midland and Western Region, in recognition that it is now classified by the EU as a more developed area;
  • €409 million for European Regional Development Fund co-funded programmes;
  • €542 million for European Social Fund co-funded programmes;
  • €68 million for the Youth Employment Initiative;
  • €169 million for the European Territorial Cooperation (ETC) programmes, including the Northern Ireland PEACE Programme (€150 million), and other programmes between Ireland and Northern Ireland, West Scotland and Wales.

Howlin said that he was “particularly pleased” that funding had been secured for a new PEACE Programme, which operates in border counties.

“The Programme continues to play an important role in reinforcing progress towards a peaceful and stable society and in promoting reconciliation.  The European Union has always been a strong supporter of the peace process and the PEACE Programme provides real evidence of that support,” he stated.

The European Structural & Investment Funds give money to members states with the aim of promoting economic growth, research and ICT; combating unemployment and tackling environmental issues.

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About the author:

Órla Ryan

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