Video: Derry needs more EU peace money, claims T.D.

It’s been claimed not enough European structural funding has filtered down to areas of need in Derry over the years.

Fianna Fáil T.D., Declan Breathnach, said the impending departure of the United Kingdom from the European Union had created “a whole new scenario with regard to INTERREG and PEACE programme funding”.

Peace Bridge: Built with EU funds.

Peace Bridge: Built with EU funds.

Deputy Breathnach said it was vital European peace and inter-regional pots continued to be accessible to Derry.

“The PEACE and INTERREG programmes will continue to be needed because in Belfast, Derry and elsewhere, much of the money provided has not filtered down to where the problems are found,” he argued.

Minister of State at the Department of Foreign Affairs, Helen McEntee, said: “We need to ensure not only that PEACE and INTERREG funding continues to the end of the 2020 programme, in accordance with the clear commitment given by the Irish and UK Governments and the EU, but also that PEACE+ is developed alongside the current programmes.

“What is significant is that the funding is not just maintained but actually increased. There is also work we can continue to do at home.

“The North West Strategic Growth Partnership involves Donegal County Council working together with local authorities in Derry and Strabane. They have memorandums of understanding and are drawing down their own funding streams.”

Both Brussels and London have made positive noises about the continuation of structural funding here.

Last September the European Parliament noted a European Commission proposal to continue the PEACE and INTERREG programmes.

It also acknowledged a UK position paper on the future of Cohesion Policy, dated April 2018, in which the UK stated its willingness to explore a potential successor to PEACE IV with the NI Executive, the Irish Government and the EU, in addition to its engagement to honour existing commitments under PEACE and INTERREG.