The Special EU Programmes Body (SEUPB), which distributes funding to Northern Ireland and the border counties, is planning to hold consultation events in each county on the next phase of funding.
The SEUPB says it anticipates that the consultation events will start at the end of this year and continue on into early 2020. As with the previous consultations, held for past programmes, they will give all stakeholders the opportunity to feed into the programme development process.
The SEUPB is responsible for the implementation of the EU’s PEACE IV (€270 million) and INTERREG VA (€283 million) Programmes. They also have a signposting role to promote involvement in the INTERREG VB Transnational and INTERREG VC Interregional Programmes.
Details of the consultations will be available on the organisation’s website and social media channel in the coming weeks.
Funding after a no-deal Brexit?
Meanwhile, the head of the SEUPB, Gina McIntyre, has responded to concerns that a ‘no-deal’ Brexit will lead to an end of EU PEACE funding in the region.
She said: “Arrangements are in place, supported by the EU, UK and Irish Governments, providing for the continuation of the PEACE IV and INTERREG VA Programmes until 2023, even in the advent of a ‘no-deal’ scenario.”
She added that the European Commission ratified this position in a European regulation (2019/491) which was formally approved by the European Parliament in March of this year and received extensive support and commitment from all the partners involved.
Government provides its support through a funding guarantee and these together ensure that the current programmes will be continued until their natural conclusion in 2023, she confirmed.
Ms McIntyre also gave some assurance about funding after 2023.
She said: “As regards a future programme, the EU Multi-Annual Financial Framework for 2021- 2027, published in May 2018, included provision for a PEACE PLUS Programme. The new PEACE PLUS Programme will include both PEACE and INTERREG activities building on the work of previous and current programmes which have contributed to social, economic and regional stability”.
A government consultation on PEACE PLUS is also planned.