€1.1 billion peace pot to benefit Derry rubber-stamped by Europe
A massive €1.1 billion pot of peace funding that will benefit many projects and groups in Derry has been approved by the European Commission.
PEACE PLUS, a new cross-border EU programme to strengthen peace and reconciliation and cross-border cooperation, has been formally backed by Europe. It combines the previous INTERREG and PEACE funding strands into a new programme for the 2021-2027 EU period.
The Commission will invest €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 the north, this will result in a total investment of €1.1 billion in peace and prosperity on the island of Ireland.
Vice-President for Inter-institutional Relations and Foresight, Maroš Šefčovič, said: “The EU has proven time and again its commitment to the Good Friday (Belfast) Agreement. 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. Preserving the hard-earned gains of the peace process will always be of paramount importance to all Europeans.”
Commissioner for Cohesion and Reforms, Elisa Ferreira, added: “Since 1995, the EU has been committed to make a constructive contribution to the peace process.
"The new ambitious PEACE PLUS, the largest ever cross-border cooperation programme in the island, is built on the same principles of partnership that have made the past PEACE programmes effective instruments for cooperation and peace building.
"We invite partners in Ireland and Northern Ireland to continue their work to achieve our shared ambitions for reconciliation, peace and prosperity.”
Finance Minister Murphy Conor Murphy said: “It is very welcome news that the PEACE PLUS programme has been adopted by the European Commission. This £1 billion funding will be welcomed particularly by those in Border communities and those impacted most adversely by chronic economic and social deprivation.
"It will build upon the success of previous PEACE programmes and provide much needed support for essential social, economic, cultural and environmental activities while also providing significant infrastructure investment.
“I’m hopeful that the British and Irish governments will soon conclude final administrative arrangements with the European Commission to allow this programme to open as soon as possible.”