Dáil Éireann - Volume 433 - 30 June, 1993
Written Answers. - EC Initiatives.
Mr. Hogan Mr. Hogan
63. Mr. Hogan asked the Minister for Enterprise and Employment if he will give details of the various European Community initiatives that he has implemented in the period from 1989 to 1993 inclusive; the scope and extent of funding for each programme; if these programmes will be continued in the future; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
Minister for Enterprise and Employment (Mr. Quinn) Ruairí Quinn
Minister for Enterprise and Employment (Mr. Quinn): Community Initiatives are Commission sponsored initiatives which are implemented under Article 11 of EC Regulation No. 4253/88. Through Community Initiatives assistance is provided for measures of significant interest to the Community not covered by the National Development Plan.
My Department has primary responsibility for the following Community Initiatives: Euroform, Horizon, NOW, PRISMA and RETEX.
The Euroform Community Initiative concerns transnational projects in the area of new qualifications, new skills and new employment opportunities induced by the completion of the internal market and technological change. The total EC allocation to Ireland for Euroform up to the end of 1994 is £10.6 million.
Sixty five projects have been approved under Euroform. They cover a wide variety of areas including qualifications in arts' administration, distance learning for the long term unemployed and local tourism responses in the West of Ireland. All projects have transnational partners in other Community Member States.
The NOW Community Initiative promotes equal opportunities for women in  the field of employment and vocational training. All projects supported under this programme have a transnational aspect and are linked with compatible counterparts in other member states. The total EC contribution to Ireland under NOW in the period 1992-1994 is IR£4.6 million.
To date thirty-two projects have been approved for funding under NOW. Community groups, voluntary organisations and statutory training bodies benefit from the Initiative. While NOW provides voluntary organisations with the opportunity to directly implement Community aided activity, it also provides statutory training organisations with the resources to target their activities in the area of positive action programmes for women.
The HORIZON Community Initiative provides Structural Funds for innovative projects involving transnational partnerships which are aimed at assisting the disabled and disadvantaged. The programme seeks to facilitate the social and economic integration of its participants into the labour market in particular and society in general. The total EC allocation to Ireland for HORIZON is £15.4 million.
Ninety-four projects have been approved to date and they will fully take up the Structural Funds available. It is anticipated that projects will have a multiplier effect in creating sustainable employment and that innovatory activity undertaken will serve as models for future developments in the provision of services to the disabled and the disadvantaged. All projects are linked with transnational partners in other member states.
Under the PRISMA (Preparing Regional Industry for the Single Market) Community Initiative EC funding will be provided to Ireland to support infrastructural development work in four highly specialised fields. These are: the improvement of calibration and metrology infrastructure and services; the improvement of third party testing and certification services; to increase or enhance the information available to  firms regarding business opportunities in EC public procurement markets; and to provide some additional support to previously protected sectors (e.g. textiles, clothing and footwear) to enhance their future competitiveness.
Nineteen projects are being assisted under the Programme of which the most significant and important are— the modernisation of Ireland's Legal Metrology Service and the European Procurement Information Network (EPIN) being developed at ESBI Computing Ltd.; £7.22 million is being provided in EC support over the period 1992-93.
The RETEX Initiative is intended to encourage diversification of economic activity in those regions of the Community which have a heavy reliance on the clothing and textiles sector. Under this new initiative, Ireland will receive total funding of £9.1 million over the period 1993 to 1997.
Ireland's RETEX Operational Programme was adopted by the EC Commission 18 June 1993. A small number of clearly defined projects will be supported under the Programme. Details of the Programme will be announced shortly.
A Green Paper has recently been issued by the Commission on the “Future of the Community Initiatives under the Structural Funds” and will be the subject of detailed discussion and consideration in the coming months following which decisions will be taken by the Commission on the number and type of initiatives to be implemented in future years. The Green Paper suggests that there will be a smaller number of such initiatives in future.
Dáil Éireann 433 Written Answers. EC Initiatives.