PEACE PLUS providing €1 billion funding to support peace and prosperity in border counties and the North

New North South cooperation programme to amalgamate existing funding streams

Staff Reporter

Reporter:

Staff Reporter

Charlie McConalogue Dail

PEACE PLUS providing €1 billion funding to support peace and prosperity in border counties and the North

A new North South cooperation programme will amalgamate two existing funding streams.

PEACE PLUS will combine PEACE and INTERREG EU funding strands into one cohesive cross-border programme.

The development of the 2021-27 PEACE PLUS cross-border EU programme is continuing. With a total value of €1 billion, the new programme will support peace and prosperity focussing on the North and the border counties.

PEACE PLUS will be funded by the European Union and the British Government, together with the Northern Ireland Executive and the Irish Government.

PEACE PLUS development is being led by the Special EU Programmes Body (SEUPB), a North South Implementation Body, in close cooperation with the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform in Ireland and the Department of Finance in Northern Ireland.

On foot of a comprehensive stakeholder consultation, together with development work with government departments North and South, SEUPB has prepared a draft programme framework which identifies key thematic areas of cross-border activity for PEACE PLUS. SEUPB is now preparing to launch a second public consultation which will commence shortly. This consultation will allow for stakeholders across the eligible area for the new programme to make their views known.

Commenting on PEACE PLUS, Minister of Agriculture, Food and the Marine Charlie McConalogue said: "This is a clear example of the Shared Island project in action and is much welcomed news to enhance our cross-border region."

Speaking after this morning’s Cabinet meeting, which discussed PEACE PLUS, Minister of Public Reform and Expenditure Michael McGrath TD said: “I was very pleased to update Cabinet colleagues today on progress with the development of the PEACE PLUS programme.

“The combined funding commitments made by the European Union, the UK Government, the Northern Ireland Executive, and the Irish Government are set to provide a total programme value of around €1 billion. The EU and the UK are discussing final agreement on funding arrangements.

“This represents a genuinely impactful programme which will have an enduring cross-border legacy. Government Departments, North and South, have worked collaboratively together to develop the programme. I believe that the scale and ambition of PEACE PLUS are especially timely in view of the twin challenges of Brexit and the COVID pandemic which are being faced across the island of Ireland. PEACE PLUS will build on the excellent work of the PEACE and INTERREG programmes to support shared peace and prosperity.

“I had the opportunity to discuss the PEACE PLUS programme with Ministers Conor Murphy and Peter Weir at our North South Ministerial Council meeting in October, and I look forward to further positive engagement as we finalise the programme.

“I would like to extend my gratitude to the Special EU Programmes Body for their excellent work to date on programme development for PEACE PLUS, as well as to the stakeholders represented on the PEACE PLUS Programme Development Steering Group. I also wish to acknowledge the shared commitment of the EU, the UK and Ireland to PEACE PLUS.

“I look forward to seeing the launch of a further public consultation for PEACE PLUS over the coming weeks, and I encourage all stakeholders to make their views known during this process," concluded Minister McGrath.