Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Questions (116, 117)

Pearse Doherty

Question:

116. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the allocations for Ireland under each of the ERDF and ESF programmes for 2014-20. [15553/14]

View answer

Pearse Doherty

Question:

117. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the contact person or agency for citizens seeking information for each of the ERDF and ESF 2014-20 programmes. [15554/14]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Public)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 116 and 117 together.

Last year, in the context of the agreement on the EU's Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF), Ireland was successful in securing €1.2 billion of Cohesion policy funding for the period 2014-2020.  It should be noted that this represents an increase in 8% in real terms over the 2007-2013 programming period, at a time when the overall EU budget for Cohesion policy was cut by 8%.  In particular, the Government was successful in negotiating two special allocations, €100m (2011 prices) for the BMW Region, in recognition that it is now classified by the EU as a more developed region, and €150m (2011 prices) towards a new Northern Ireland PEACE programme.

Of this €1.2 billion, some €951 million is for European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and European Social Fund (ESF) co-funded programmes in Ireland, with the balance being for European Territorial Cooperation (ETC) programmes, including the Northern Ireland PEACE Programme, the Ireland/Northern Ireland/West of Scotland INTERREG Programme, the Ireland/Wales INTERREG Programme and a number of smaller transnational programmes in which Ireland participates.

The draft ERDF operational programmes for 2014-2020 are being prepared by the Managing Authorities located in the BMW and Southern & Eastern Region Assemblies, while the ESF operational programme for 2014-2020 is being prepared by the Department of Education & Skills.

I will shortly be bringing proposals to Government concerning the allocation of funds between the ERDF and ESF programmes.