As the Deputy will be aware, Ireland and the UK are currently partners in two EU-funded cross-border Cooperation Programmes, PEACE and INTERREG, with a total value of €550 million over the period 2014-2020. These programmes are 85% funded by the EU through the European Regional Development Fund under the European Union's Cohesion Policy.
The two programmes are important drivers of regional development in a cross-border context. Through EU-funded cooperation, a range of organisations North and South, including educational institutions, have engaged in and benefitted from a variety of cross-border and cross-community projects.
The Irish Government has been clear and consistent about its commitment to the successful implementation of the current PEACE and INTERREG programmes and to a successor programme post-2020.
As regards the current programmes, the draft Withdrawal Agreement would enable them to be completed without interruption or amendment up to their normal closure. In the event of no agreement, the EU has adopted a special Regulation that will enable the two programmes to continue to be financed from the EU budget, under current management structures and with funding levels unchanged, until closure.
As regards a future programme, the European Commission has responded to the Irish Government’s support for a future programme with a proposal for a special new PEACE PLUS programme that will build on and continue the work of PEACE and INTERREG into the future.