Editorial - Eastern promise

The role played by successive administrations in the United States in supporting the peace process here is well known.

Visits by US presidents, including to this city, and high level political lobbying from influential figures all played a major role in getting us to where we are today.

While the involvement of the United States is certainly worthy of praise, it often overshadows the key peace building role played by allies much closer to home - the European Union.

The high profile visits and interventions by leading American politicians grabbed the headlines in securing peace, but it was the support, most notably the huge financial commitment of the European Union that made peace successful.

It was EU funding that bankrolled the much talked-about peace dividend that helped, and continues to help, the transition from conflict to peace.

US visits are few and far between these days but the opportunities in Europe remain and, in many cases, are still largely untapped.

The key demands for the growth and regeneration of this city, the development of Magee, infrastructural improvements, stronger cross border links in healthcare and other issues can all benefit from European funding.

In the past we have been too slow to look to Europe for assistance, choosing instead to look to London, Dublin or Washington. Perhaps our leaders would do better to look east to Brussels for support for the city’s plans in the future.