Minister Donohoe delivers Keynote address at EU Funding Conference promoting involvement in EU INTERREG Programmes

19th April, 2023

The Minister for Public Expenditure, National Development Plan Delivery and Reform Paschal Donohoe TD delivered the keynote address at an EU Funding Conference: Connecting, Communicating and Collaborating – Irish Regions Cooperating Across the EU, which took place in the Radisson Blu Hotel, Athlone, on Wednesday 19 April 2023. 


The conference, organised the Irish Delegation to the Committee of the Regions, the Irish Regions European Office and the three Regional Assemblies, aimed to encourage participation by Irish local authorities in the new round of multi-million EU funding, particularly in the European Territorial Cooperation/INTERREG programmes, the Horizon Europe Missions and the LIFE programme. 


In the course of his remarks, Minister Donohoe said:  


Cooperation between people and institutions is a key enabler for the European project and one that requires promotion and encouragement. INTERREG and other EU programmes play an important role in supporting the process of creating links, exchanging views, understanding differences, working together, and promoting and maintaining peace”.


During the conference, an interactive map developed by the Irish Regions European Office (IREO) and the Regional Assemblies was launched. The Map highlighted the significant additional financial contribution for Irish partners from participation in these INTERREG programmes, showing EU support into Ireland amounting to €67m Euro across a total of 389 project partners in the period 2014-2020.


The Conference provided guidance for potential participants on the application process for the Northern Periphery and Artic Programme, the North West Europe Programme, the Atlantic Area programme, the URBACT and the INTERREG Europe programmes. It also highlighted the new Horizon Europe Missions on research and innovation and the LIFE programme for protecting the environment and combatting climate change. 


Representatives from the programmes attended from across Europe to share their knowledge and to encourage Irish Local Authorities and other relevant bodies to draw down support from these programmes. 


The Minister acknowledged the often unseen work undertaken in the delivery and implementation of these programmes and noted that: 


“Ireland values INTERREG programmes and has benefited from participation both economically and in terms of gaining experience through co-operation” 


The Minister welcomed the recent announcement of the new €1.1 billion PEACEPLUS programme, supporting peace and cross-border co-operation until 2029 and spoke about the immense contribution that €3.3 billion of EU INTERREG and PEACE funding across Northern Ireland and the Border counties of Ireland had already made to shared peace, as well as shared prosperity, on the island of Ireland. 


He said: 

“PEACEPLUS represents a shared recognition that support for peace and prosperity on this island is as important today as it has been at any stage since the first, tentative steps towards a peace process.  PEACEPLUS and INTERREG are key drivers of cross-border cooperation and cohesion for three decades now, making a real difference to the lives of tens of thousands of beneficiaries.” 


Minister Donohoe’s full speech can be found here