Ireland signs €3.5 billion Partnership Agreement with EU for Cohesion Funds 2021-27
European Commissioner for Cohesion and Reforms, Elisa Ferreira visited Ireland this week to launch the Cohesion Funds Partnership Agreement with Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Michael McGrath, laying down a €3.5 billion investment strategy in cohesion policy funding for Ireland for 2021-27.
Under the Partnership Agreement, Ireland will receive €1.4 billion for Cohesion Policy investments for 2021-27 from the EU which will be matched with national funding from the Irish Government, bringing the full value of the support for Ireland to almost €3.5 billion.
The Partnership Agreement covers three cohesion policy funds, including the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) which supports balanced regional development across the EU through a variety of investment initiatives that strengthen economic, social and territorial cohesion.
The Southern Regional Assembly manages the ERDF Southern, Eastern and Midland (SEM) Regional Programme which will see approximately €663 million being invested in both the Southern Region and the Eastern and Midland Region in the 2021-27 period. Funding will focus on three key areas, building research, development and innovation capacity in public research institutions in the two regions, scaling up investment in actions to improve energy efficiency of residential homes and targeting homeowners in/ at risk of energy poverty, and supporting sustainable urban development in the two regions.
The Regional Assembly has submitted the ERDF SEM Programme to the European Commission for approval, which is expected later this year. The Assembly also manages the ERDF Southern & Eastern Regional Programme 2014-20 which invested approximately €660 million in ERDF and national funding into the southern and eastern parts of the country
Minister McGrath said, “I am delighted to launch Ireland’s Partnership Agreement with Commissioner Ferreira. Next year, Ireland will celebrate fifty years of European Union membership. Communities throughout Ireland have benefitted from membership of the European Union and from EU funding. The focus on reducing energy poverty is particularly welcome in light of our urgent need to reduce dependency on fossil fuels."
EU Commissioner Ferreira said: " Ireland will receive support to further develop its economy in a fair and green manner, ensuring that no region is left behind. Since its accession to the EU in 1973, the country had benefitted from Cohesion Policy funds to support its transformation to a modern, innovation-led economy. Support under this new Partnership Agreement will continue to boost innovation across Irish regions, while also contributing to the green transition and to the quality of life in Irish towns. Ireland has a far-reaching smart, green and digital future ahead."
Commissioner Ferreira’s comments come after visiting ERDF supported initiatives in Waterford and Dublin where she experienced first-hand the success of the €4 million ERDF investment in the Apple Market and Viking Triangle public realm works, led by Waterford City and County Council, and the €1.5m investment in restorations at Swords Castle. The Commissioner also visited the South East Technological University campus in Waterford to hear about the variety of research conducted at SETU which has been co-funded by ERDF.
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