Finance Minister Arlene Foster has welcomed the European Commission’s decision to formally adopt the EU Programme for Peace and Reconciliation, PEACE IV.
The cross border cooperation programme will deliver around €269million to projects working to support peace and reconciliation in Northern Ireland and the border region of Ireland.
The programme budget comprises €229million from the European Regional Development Fund and €40million match funding from the Northern Ireland Executive and Irish Government.
Arlene Foster said: “The people of Northern Ireland want and deserve peaceful and secure society. European funding, delivered through the PEACE programmes, has played an important part in reinforcing peace and stability in Northern Ireland and the border region.
“I very much welcome the European Commission’s adoption of the PEACE IV programme. I am particularly pleased that the new programme, which aligns with the Executive’s Together: Building a United Community strategy, will have a stronger focus than ever before on our young people. Investment in our young people is vital as we look to create a sustainable economy for future generations.”
The PEACE IV Programme will support activity in four key areas:
· Shared Education (€35.3 million);
· Children and Young People (€67 million);
· Shared Spaces and Services (€99.3 million, including €17.6 million to enhance regional services for victims and survivors); and
· Building Positive Relations (€51.7 million).
The remainder of the programme budget will be allocated towards technical assistance for programme management and delivery.
The Minister concluded: “I am confident that PEACE IV will contribute towards a shared future for all, built on greater economic success and prosperity.”
The PEACE IV programme will be managed by the Special EU Programmes Body (SEUPB). Calls for applications are expected to launch early in the new year.
Notes to editors:
- The Special EU Programmes Body is a North/South Implementation Body sponsored by the Department of Finance and Personnel in Northern Ireland and the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform in Ireland. It is responsible for management of the EU PEACE and INTERREG cross-border co-operation programmes.
- The eligible area for the PEACE IV Programme is Northern Ireland and the Border Region of Ireland. The programme budget is €269million. This is a cross-border allocation comprising 85% EU funding and 15% match funding.
- The programme development process included two public consultations, led by SEUPB, carried out in autumn 2012 and summer 2014.
- It is anticipated that the first calls for applications will open in early 2016.
- PEACE IV was developed following public consultation.
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