The Minister for Public Expenditure, NDP Delivery and Reform, Paschal Donohoe TD, today (Friday) welcomed the progress on delivering the new PEACE PLUS programme which will invest €1.145 billion in projects to build peace and prosperity in Northern Ireland and the border counties of Ireland out to 2029.
PEACE PLUS is an exciting and ambitious new North-South cooperation programme that will build on the long-standing PEACE and INTERREG EU funded programmes. These programmes have invested €3.3 billion in Northern Ireland and the border counties of Ireland (i.e. Cavan, Donegal, Louth, Leitrim, Monaghan and Sligo) since their inception in the 1990s.
PEACE PLUS will be funded by the EU Commission and the UK Government, as well as the Northern Ireland Executive and the Irish Government.Programme development was led by the Special EU Programmes Body (SEUPB), a cross-border North-South Implementation Body established under the Good Friday Agreement and jointly sponsored by the Minister for Public Expenditure, NDP Delivery and Reform in Ireland and the Minister of Finance in Northern Ireland. Following an extensive development process during 2019-21 which included two public consultations held across the programme area, SEUPB finalised a draft programme structured around six thematic investment areas:
- Building Peaceful and Thriving Communities;
- Delivering Economic Regeneration and Transformation;
- Empowering and Investing in our Young People;
- Healthy and Inclusive Communities;
- Supporting a Sustainable Future;
- Building and Embedding Partnership and Collaboration.
The draft programme has been approved by Government, the Northern Ireland Executive and the North South Ministerial Council, and the European Commission. The Financing Agreement for the PEACE PLUS programme was signed earlier this month and is now entering the parliamentary ratification processes in the UK.
An Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar TD, said:
“The new PEACE PLUS programme represents an unprecedented financial investment by Ireland, the EU and the UK in support of shared peace and prosperity on the island of Ireland. The EU and the UK Government have displayed a spirit of commitment and partnership throughout the development of this new cross-border programme. I look forward to PEACE PLUS opening for funding applications in the months ahead for the benefit of all communities.”
An Tánaiste, Micheál Martin, said:
"EU support through the PEACE and INTERREG programmes has helped cement our peace and, importantly, build the people-to-people and community-to-community relations that are the heart of reconciliation.
“I am delighted that the PEACE PLUS programme will now proceed, supported by the European Union and the two Governments.
“I look forward to the positive impacts this new PEACE PLUS programme will have building on these foundations, creating and consolidating the meaningful connections, cooperation and trust between different communities and traditions that is also at the heart of the Government’s Shared Island initiative.”
Minister Donohoe welcomed the progress, saying:
“Over the past 30 years, the EU cross-border PEACE and INTERREG programmes have invested €3.3 billion across Northern Ireland and the border counties of Ireland, acting as a crucial catalyst for peace and cross-border cooperation. In the aftermath of the UK’s decision to leave the EU, the Government advocated strongly for the continuation of these vital programmes, and we were hugely heartened by the firm and generous support of both the EU and the UK Government in this regard.
"I would also like to acknowledge the support of the Northern Ireland administration, and my own Government colleagues who have helped to develop and fund the new programme.
“I am delighted that plans for opening the new PEACE PLUS programme are now coming to fruition, and I look forward to seeing the programme open shortly. The Special EU Programmes Body, which will be responsible for managing the programme, will open it for applications as soon as the final steps on the financing agreement are concluded – expected to be in early summer.
“I look forward to seeing the first projects coming on stream. I know that they will make a real difference to the lives of those in the programme area, and will help to build a brighter future for all.”
Notes to Editors
- Development and management of EU North South programmes is the responsibility of the Special EU Programmes Body (SEUPB), a North South Implementation Body established under the Good Friday Agreement. The SEUPB is headquartered in Belfast, with smaller offices in Omagh and Monaghan, and is jointly sponsored by the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform in Ireland and the Department of Finance in Northern Ireland.
- Further information on the PEACE PLUS programme is at:
PEACEPLUS Programme | SEUPB