At the outset it is important to remind the Deputy that Ireland’s allocation of European Regional Development Funds have in the past, and will continue in the future, to support projects in all parts of Ireland. Moreover, in accordance with the EU Regulatory requirement, stakeholders at local, regional and national level will continue to have a key role in the planning, monitoring and delivery of these programmes.
There are currently no plans or proposals before the Minister in relation to the current or future administration of European Regional Development Funds in Ireland.
However, the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform has commissioned a Review of Structures for the management of European Regional Development (ERDF) for the next programming round, for the period 2021 to 2027. The amount of funding available through the ERDF is expected to be reduced; the level of co-financing required to draw down these funds is expected to increase; and activities eligible for support has been concentrated further. Against this background, it is timely and appropriate to undertake a review of the structures in place for the administration of these funds, which have remained essentially unchanged since 2000. It is important to emphasise that, at this early stage in the exploratory and deliberative process, there are no recommendations on structures before the Minister.