Dáil Éireann - Volume 475 - 25 February, 1997
Written Answers. - Peace and Reconciliation Programme.
Mr. R. Burke Mr. R. Burke
85. Mr. R. Burke asked the Minister for Finance whether recent reports, which stated that EU funding to the North of Ireland and the Border counties will not be extended beyond the end of 1997, are accurate; the steps, if any, taken during the Irish EU Presidency to ensure the future of EU funding for Northern Ireland and the Border counties; and the steps, if any, being taken by the Government as a member of the EU Troika to guarantee the continuation of a high level of EU funding to support the Northern Ireland peace process. [5069/97]
Minister for Finance (Mr. Quinn) Ruairí Quinn
Minister for Finance (Mr. Quinn): The Special Support Programme for Peace and Reconciliation is a five year programme from 1995 to 1999. The Essen European Council in December 1994 decided that the initial funding for the programme should be 300 million ECU over three years, with the allocation for the remaining two years of the programme to be agreed at a later date. The level of funding for 1998 will be decided during the 1998 budgetary process. I would like to assure the Deputy that the Government will spare no effort to ensure that funding for this programme will continue. Indeed the Government is confident that funding will be provided, as the European Union has been extremely supportive of the peace process. As the Deputy is aware, high level representations were made by the Government during the Irish Presidency to ensure full funding for the programme in 1997 and these efforts were successful. The Troika format is used to support the Presidency only in the conduct of the EU's external relations. It has no role in internal EU matters.
Dáil Éireann 475 Written Answers. Peace and Reconciliation Programme.