PEACEPLUS LAUNCH MARKS NEW CHAPTER FOR INVESTMENT IN PEACE AND PROSPERITY
PEACEPLUS – a new €1.14billion funding programme, designed to support continued peace and prosperity across Northern Ireland and the border counties of Ireland – held its official Brussels launch event on Thursday (12 October) as part of EU Regions Week, following the initial launch of the programme last month in Belfast.
Consolidating the legacy of the Belfast/Good Friday Agreement and the achievements of the 23,000 projects funded through PEACE and INTERREG Programmes over the past 25 years, PEACEPLUS will deliver vital investment across six key themes designed to ensure the continued economic, social, and environmental development of Northern Ireland and the six border counties.
PEACEPLUS consists of a partnership between the European Union, the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, the Government of Ireland, and the Northern Ireland Executive. Senior representatives from each jurisdiction gathered in Brussels this evening to celebrate the launch of the Programme and reflect on the tremendous successes of the many EU-funded projects delivered since 1998.
Hosted at the Office of the Northern Ireland Executive, the formal launch event was co-hosted by the UK Mission to the EU, the Permanent Representation of Ireland to the EU, the European Commission, and the Office of the Northern Ireland Executive in Brussels.
Ambassador and Head of the UK Mission to the European Union, Lindsay Croisdale-Appleby CMG, said:
“Having signed the Peace Plus agreement on behalf of the UK earlier this year, I am delighted to participate in its launch.
“The UK government is providing more than £730 million to the programme, which includes contributions from the Northern Ireland Executive. Alongside funding from the EU and Ireland, the total programme of almost £1 billion will provide vital support to projects that promote stability, foster cohesion and build prosperity in Northern Ireland. It's a true testament to the spirit of working together."
Permanent Representation of Ireland to the EU, Ambassador Aingeal O’Donoghue said:
“We all recognise that peace and prosperity are inextricably linked. We also understand that support for them on our shared island remains as vital today as at any point in the past.”
Speaking at the event, Deputy Director General, Directorate-General for Regional and Urban Policy, Normunds Popens said:
“Listening to stakeholders and actively involving them in the governance is the best way to gain a broad support for the investments to be made. This trust and partnership building is something which the EU strongly supports and encourages.”
Gina McIntyre, Chief Executive of the SEUPB commented:
“2023 represents a significant milestone as we reflect on the 25th anniversary of the Belfast / Good Friday Agreement from which the SEUPB was created . Following our PEACEPLUS launch event in Belfast, it is a pleasure this evening to launch PEACEPLUS in Brussels with so many of our key EU stakeholders.
“This evening’s event offered the opportunity to reflect on the transformative impact and influence that EU funding has had on embedding peacebuilding efforts and growing prosperity in communities across Northern Ireland and the border counties of Ireland.
“We know there is still work to do, and the unprecedented investment made by PEACEPLUS will allow us to preserve and protect the work of the peace builders , and build upon the outstanding legacy of the many important locally based initiatives supported by the PEACE and INTERREG programmes.”