Dáil Éireann - Volume 486 - 28 January, 1998

Written Answers. - EU Funding.

477. Mr. Lawlor asked the Minister for Finance if the Government will consider the way in which the needs of the Dublin region can best be addressed in the context of EU Structural Fund negotiations post-1999 in view of the future infrastructural employment requirements of the capital and in view of the fact that the region did less well than the rest of the country in the national development programmes undertaken to date; his views on whether a separate integrated operations programme for Dublin should be sought from the EU in the post-1999 negotiations in order to deal with the particular problems of the region and the consequent social exclusion of entire urban communities; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [1396/98]

Minister for Finance (Mr. McCreevy): The Dublin Regional Authority will, along with the other regional authorities, be invited shortly by the Department of Finance to submit their priorities for the development of their region which they would like to see included in the National Development Plan for the next round of Structural Funds. All the regions will be given general guidelines to help them in the task of preparing their submissions as well as financial assistance towards hiring consultants for this purpose. The needs of the Dublin region as determined by the Dublin Regional Authority will, along with the other submissions received by the Department of Finance, be considered in the preparation of a national development plan in the light of the evolving situation at EU level in relation to the negotiations of next round of Structural Funds.

The Government's objective is to obtain continued access to the Objective 1 funding envelope over the duration of the next financial perspective. Access to Objective 1 funding is necessary in order to meet Ireland's substantial backlogs in infrastructural and social development. The needs of the Dublin region, along with the other regions of the country, will be constantly borne in mind in the negotiations on the next Structural Funds regime.