Written Answers. - Economic Benefits of Peace Programme.

Rory O'Hanlon

Question:

52 Dr. O'Hanlon asked the Minister for Finance the economic benefits that have accrued in Cavan and Monaghan as a result of the cessation of violence; the additional funding that has been allocated to these counties; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [17298/95]

Counties Cavan and Monaghan are two of the six counties comprising the Border region, and, as such, benefit from a number of EU funded initiatives specifically aimed at that region. In addition to expenditure under the Community Support Framework, CSF, operational programmes and from the Community Initiatives in general, the Border region also benefits from the Ireland-Northern Ireland INTERREG Programme 1994-99. I assume, however, that what the Deputy has particularly in mind is the additional funding provided under the programme for peace and reconciliation in Northern Ireland and the Border counties.

Under the peace programme a total of 300 MECU, approximately £240, million, of EU funds is being provided over the period 1995-97. At least 20 per cent of these funds, amounting to approximately £48 million, is being made available for the six Border counties. Under INTERREG II a total of 156 MECU of EU funds has been allocated to the Border counties and Northern Ireland for cross-Border projects in infrastructure, environmental protection, natural resources, human resources and economic development. Of this amount 89.5 MECU, £72 million, significantly over half of the EU funding approved, has been made available for the six Border counties, and, as in the case of the peace programme, matching funding will come from central Government, local authorities, the private sector and community groups depending on the nature of the project being funded.
As the Deputy may be aware, the Commission does not commit funding on a county by county basis, and individual counties in the Border region will benefit to the extent that project applications put forward meet the objectives of the programmes and achieve a sufficiently high priority. It will be possible to give a county breakdown when the programmes have been completed.