Fianna Fáil TD for Cavan and Monaghan, Brendan Smith, has welcomed an update on the opening of funding applications to the 2021-27 PEACEPLUS cross-border EU programme, which is due shortly in the months ahead.
Following further parliamentary questions in Dáil Eireann, Deputy Brendan Smith commented, “I have been informed by my colleague, Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Michael McGrath, that the first funding calls under PEACEPLUS will open for application before the end of 2022.
“The cross-border programme has a total funding package of some €1.1bn and is available to community groups and statutory agencies to submit applications.”
The draft PEACEPLUS programme has been developed by the Special EU Programmes Body (SEUPB), working in close cooperation with my Department and with the Department of Finance in Northern Ireland, and is now at its final stage of development. Having been approved by the Government, by the Northern Ireland Executive and by the North South Ministerial Council during the autumn of 2021, the draft programme was formally approved and adopted by the European Commission in July 2022.
The Cavan and Monaghan TD continued: “According to Minister McGrath, work is now ongoing to finalise the Financing Agreement between the EU, the UK and Ireland which is required for PEACEPLUS. It is anticipated that this process will be completed in sufficient time to allow for the first funding calls under PEACEPLUS to open for application before the end of 2022.”
In his response to Deputy Smith, the Minister added: “However, even in advance of this, the importance of this funding reaching the ground as rapidly as possible is clearly recognised by all parties involved in the development of the new programme. On this basis, a programme of pre-development support is currently being implemented by the SEUPB. This will assist potential applicants under PEACEPLUS to deliver high quality applications once funding calls open. Work is also ongoing to establish and convene a Programme Monitoring Committee for PEACEPLUS in order to approve programme rules, as well as the first draft funding calls for the new programme.
“These steps will ensure that PEACEPLUS can open for funding applications at the earliest possible stage over the months ahead, following completion of a Financing Agreement for the programme.”