Fianna Fáil TD for Cavan and Monaghan, Brendan Smith has welcomed approval by the North South Ministerial Council of the draft PEACE PLUS cross-border EU programme.
Following approval last week by the Government, the draft programme was this week approved by the Northern Ireland Executive and by the North South Ministerial Council. The programme will now be reviewed by the European Commission for final consideration and approval, ahead of a formal launch in 2022.
PEACE PLUS is a new North South programme for the 2021-27 period which will combine the previous PEACE and INTERREG EU funding strands into one cohesive cross-border programme. This new programme will support peace and prosperity across an eligible area of Northern Ireland and the border counties of Ireland (Counties Cavan, Donegal, Leitrim, Louth, Monaghan and Sligo).
Deputy Brendan Smith commented, “With a total funding package of over €1.1 billion, PEACE PLUS is set to be an ambitious and impactful cross-border programme, which will benefit counties Cavan and Monaghan, and which will build on the strong legacy of the PEACE and INTERREG EU programmes. I believe that the scale of the support which PEACE PLUS will provide for shared peace and prosperity across Northern Ireland and the border counties of Ireland is especially timely as we look ahead to recovery from the COVID pandemic and as we adapt to the challenges of Brexit.”
The Cavan and Monaghan TD continued: “I would like in particular to acknowledge the shared commitment of the EU, the UK, the Northern Ireland Executive and our Government to PEACE PLUS. The development of this programme since 2018 is a strong signal of our continued joint commitment to support peace and reconciliation and cross-border cooperation on the island of Ireland.
“I would also like to thank the Special EU Programmes Body for their exhaustive work on programme development for PEACE PLUS, as well as the stakeholders represented on the PEACE PLUS Programme Development Steering Group.”
Deputy Brendan Smith concluded: “I look forward to European Commission approval of the draft programme over the coming months, and to a formal launch of PEACE PLUS in 2022.”