Co-operation across the Irish Sea
Mr. Alun Davies, AM, Deputy Minister for Agriculture, Food, Fisheries & European Programmes of the Welsh Government; Mr. Stephen Blair, Director, S&E Regional Assembly; Cllr. Tomás Breathnach, Cathaoirleach S&E Regional Assembly, September 2011-2012
Co-operation and collaboration between the Southern & Eastern (S&E) Regional Assembly and the Welsh Government particularly in the area of the cross border Ireland Wales programme was at the heart of an address to the Regional Assembly by Mr. Alun Davies, AM, Deputy Minister for Agriculture, Food, Fisheries & European Programmes of the Welsh Government. Minister Davies attended a meeting of the Regional Assembly which was held in Dublin’s City Hall on Thursday 20th September.
The Ireland Wales programme is managed by the S&E Regional Assembly on behalf of the Irish and Welsh Governments and the European Commission and is co-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). Since 2007 the Ireland Wales Programme has invested €51 million in 41 cross-border projects, with over 100 Irish and Welsh organisations working together to develop new solutions to common issues in areas such as business, research, community and the environment. In the previous programme period which ran from 2000 to 2006 over 100 joint projects received funds of over €48 million.
Minister Davies’ visit to the Assembly was at the invitation of outgoing Cathaoirleach of the Regional Assembly, Cllr. Tomás Breathnach whose stated objectives at the start of his term of office in September 2011 was to strengthened and deepen relations between the S&E Regional Assembly and the Welsh Assembly. Cllr. Breathnach in welcoming Minister Davies referred to the opportunities for collaboration between the two regions. Addressing the Assembly Minister Davies said that he is ‘impressed with the co-operation across the Irish sea through the Ireland Wales programme, the projects are producing real, concrete outputs. ‘Programmes such as Ireland Wales allow us to put our shared cultural outlook into practice. The negotiation of the new programmes is a big priority for my government and I view cross-border cooperation as an essential part of this’. He added that he was grateful to the Regional Assembly for carrying out the Managing Authority function and Programme delivery role and ‘I hopes that this can be maintained and we can design the future programme together’.
For more information please contact Derville Brennan, Research & Communications Officer with the S&E Regional Assembly, mobile no. + 353 87 7793755 email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Notes to Editor:
The Southern & Eastern Regional Assembly was established in 1999 following the designation of two regions in Ireland for EU Structural Funds purposes. The Regional Assembly was the Managing Authority for the 2000-2006 S&E Regional Operational Programme and currently manages the 2007-2013 Regional Operational Programme and the Ireland/Wales Interreg programme. The Assembly is involved in the management, project selection and monitoring of a number of EU co-financed INTERREG Programmes and engages with Government on a wide range of policy issues affecting regional development in Ireland.
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