What is the Southern Regional Assembly?
The Southern Regional Assembly was established on 1st January 2015. It replaced the former 8 regional authorities and 2 regional assemblies which were consolidated under the Irish Government’s regional reform process under the Local Government Reform Act 2014 to form three new regions - Southern, Northern & Western, and Eastern & Midland.
The Assembly incorporates the functions of the former regional authorities and assemblies and has enhanced powers in relation to spatial planning and economic development. Each Regional Assembly is charged with preparing new Regional Spatial & Economic Strategies for their region.
Thirty-three Councillors are appointed to the Assembly in the Southern Region, 27 from constituent local authorities and 6 due to their membership of the Committee of the Regions. The Members are not directly elected but nominated by their Local Authority. The Members are supported by Assembly staff and normally meet on the second Friday of the month in Waterford.
What is the Southern Region?
South-East Region: Carlow, Tipperary, Waterford, Wexford, Kilkenny
South-West Region: Cork, Kerry
Mid-West Region: Clare, Limerick, Tipperary
Note: The former North Tipperary is part of the Mid-West NUTS III area while the former South Tipperary is in the South-East NUTS III area. The unified county is part of the Southern Region. Due to the strong linkage between the northern part of the county and Limerick and the southern part and Waterford, the 3 Tipperary Assembly Members are members of both the Mid-West and South-East Strategic Planning Areas.
What do we do?
The Assembly has a number of key roles, including managing and monitoring EU programmes, co-ordinating, promoting and supporting strategic planning and sustainable development of the region, promoting effective local government and public services in the region, in conjunction with the National Oversight and Audit Commission, and preparing and implementing the Regional Spatial & Economic Strategy (RSES).
The Regional Assembly has a role in linking local economic development with regional and national planning through oversight of Local Economic & Community Plans and involvement in regional economic fora in conjunction with relevant interests, promoting and supporting balanced regional development through management of European Structural & Investment funds programmes and securing EU funding for specific regional projects, and also forging linkages between these funds and spatial and economic strategy, and reporting on aspects of local authority performance at the request of the National Oversight & Audit Commission.
A key aspect of the planning and economic development role is that the work in formulating the new Spatial and Economic Strategy will be undertaken at the sub-regional areas, which correspond broadly to the 8 former regional authority areas. These will be the building blocks for spatial and economic planning and statutory committees, involving the Assembly members from these areas, together with outside interests, will be established. The relevant chapters formulated by these committees will feed into the preparation of the over-arching spatial & economic strategy for the Southern Region, to be formally adopted by the Regional Assembly.
S&E Regional Operational Programme 2014-20
The Assembly is the Managing Authority for the Southern & Eastern Regional Operational Programme 2014-20. The Regional Programme focuses on five main themes of intervention, Strengthening RTDI, ICT Infrastructure, SME Competitiveness, Low Carbon Economy, and Sustainable Urban Development. Read more about the Regional Programme 2014-20 here.
The Programme's Monitoring Committee meets annually to review the effectiveness and quality of the implementation of the themes under the Programme and the Regional Assembly provides the Chair and Secretariat for the Committee. The Assembly receives funding from the Irish Exchequer and the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) to carry out its functions as the Managing Authority for the Programme.
The Assembly & Interreg
The Assembly has a role in the European Territorial Co-operation programmes, also known as Interreg. An integral part of the EU's Cohesion Policy, these programmes are co-funded by the ERDF. The Assembly’s role ranges from programme management to acting as the contact point or providing the first level financial control function.
The Assembly is a Programme Partner for the Ireland Wales Programme 2014-20 which is managed by the Welsh Government. Read about the programme 2014-20 here.
The Assembly is the designated Contact Point and provides the first level financial control function for the Interreg North West Europe Programme. Read about the programme here.