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Postupak : 2017/2225(INI)
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Odabrani dokument : A8-0240/2018

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A8-0240/2018

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PV 10/09/2018 - 21
CRE 10/09/2018 - 21

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PV 11/09/2018 - 6.6
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P8_TA(2018)0323

Rasprave
Ponedjeljak, 10. rujna 2018. - Strasbourg Revidirano izdanje

21. Utjecaj kohezijske politike EU-a na Sjevernu Irsku (rasprava)
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  Presidente. – L'ordine del giorno reca la relazione di Derek Vaughan, a nome della commissione per lo sviluppo regionale, sull'impatto della politica di coesione dell'UE sull'Irlanda del Nord (2017/2225(INI)) (A8-0240/2018).

 
  
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  Derek Vaughan, Rapporteur. – Mr President, can I first of all thank my colleagues on the Committee on Regional Development (REGI) for their cooperation on this report. It is a good time to have such a report because something important is happening. By that I mean of course the discussions on the next MFF and the negotiations on the next cohesion policy regulations, because unfortunately there are still some people who don’t see the value of cohesion policy. They want to cut the spending and reduce its influence, but I think in Northern Ireland we have an example where cohesion policy has worked.

Colleagues will recall that, since the Good Friday Agreement in 1998, Northern Ireland has been on a path of peace and we should remember that along that path they have been helped by the European Union. Northern Ireland has benefited from various cohesion policy programmes: ERDF, ESF, the rural development plan, and also fisheries funding. Unfortunately these are likely to go post—2020. But there are also Interreg, and the PEACE Programme and these can – and should – remain, whatever happens post—2020.

Prior to drafting my report, we took a REGI delegation to Northern Ireland. It was a good and interesting delegation. We saw Interreg cross-border projects in Derry—Londonderry, for example health projects where people cross the border to receive health care. We also met and talked to businesses who benefited from cross—border operations. So it brings social and economic benefits. In Belfast we met the Survivor and Victim Support Project and we heard about the excellent work they were doing, and we saw and heard from two community projects funded by the PEACE Programme. Let me remind colleagues that the PEACE Programme in the current round received EUR 270 million.

We saw two centres where people – mainly young people – from both communities came together to learn, to dance, to sing, to enjoy themselves, to play sport and to socialise together. I believe that projects like these are vital if we are to continue to break down mistrust, particularly amongst future generations. I think one of the reasons why this type of project has been so successful is because it has used a bottom-up approach, where people from communities have come together and done things together to benefit them as individuals and to benefit their communities.

Another thing we learned on our delegation was that EU funds are seen as neutral. That kept coming up time after time. So EU funds are accepted because they don’t come from the UK, they don’t come from the Irish Government, they come from the European Union. As I said, this means all communities have accepted EU funding and have put that funding to good use. That is why one of the key findings of this report is that the PEACE Programme and Interreg must continue post—2020, whatever happens.

Another key recommendation in our report is that the PEACE Programme can be used as a model and used elsewhere where there has been conflict and where there has been mistrust. So we are looking to the future here to say that cohesion policy should continue and this would be another good use for it.

I believe that this is a good report. There have been lots of discussions in the REGI Committee and it has had good support in the REGI Committee. So please, colleagues, let’s send a message to the European Union, to the Irish Government and, in particular, to the UK Government, that Interreg and, in particular, the PEACE Programme are so important. We must continue to fund them post—2020, whatever happens.

 
  
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  Corina Crețu, Member of the Commission. – Mr President, first and foremost, I would like to congratulate the rapporteur Mr Vaughan on his report. I believe it brings an accurate and some much—needed light to the decisive impact that cohesion policy has had in Northern Ireland.

I had the pleasure back in November of attending an exhibition hosted by the European Parliament on peace and Interreg (European Territorial Co—operation) projects and I have also had the opportunity over the last four years to meet several beneficiaries, and what I witnessed through their stories was a vivid and concrete expression of what cohesion policy can help us to achieve.

As you said, EU investments have helped bring people close together and increased the prosperity of Northern Ireland and its citizens, but most importantly, they have contributed to the economic transformation of a region that was facing many complex challenges. I think it is quite obvious that over the past 20 years, EU funding for Northern Ireland has been both substantial in size and successful in its implementation. This includes bespoke actions and investments from all European structural and investment funds. The ERDF – European Regional Development Fund – alone has provided over EUR 1 billion through regional growth programmes for Northern Ireland. In addition, Northern Ireland and the border region of Ireland benefited from over EUR 2 billion through peace and Interreg funding.

Honourable Members, I am particularly pleased to hear from you that the Regional Development Committee’s fact—finding mission to Northern Ireland was enriching and confirmed that the programmes were delivering efficiently on the ground. Whether we are talking about funding the science park in Derry/Londonderry, thus helping small-and medium-sized enterprises and micro businesses to innovate, or about supporting gross community dialogue in Belfast through urban regeneration projects, I think cohesion policy has brought a holistic approach in Northern Ireland which has been instrumental in addressing the multifaceted challenges of the region. As rightly underlined in your report, the peace and Interreg cross-border programmes have been of particular importance, and they are making a vital contribution to long-term partnership, peace and prosperity. I took good note of the report’s call for a continuation of funding for the peace and Interreg programmes after 2020 and my message to you is clear: we are on the same wavelength. You all know and we know that the Commission included in its draft cohesion policy package for the next programming period a proposal for a new peace programme – we call it the ‘peace+ programme’, combining the current peace and Ireland-Northern Ireland cross-border programme. I think this a very tangible sign of the Commission’s continuous commitment and of our firm belief that cross—border funding remains paramount for north—south cooperation in Ireland. Thank you for your attention and I am looking forward to our debate.

 
  
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  Andrey Novakov, on behalf of the PPE Group. – Mr President, I will begin my speech with the concluding words of the rapporteur, who said that this is ‘one good report’. And indeed, I believe it is a good report, and moreover it is a timely report. Before going into detail, I would like to share a few figures with you. Almost two million citizens in Northern Ireland benefited from EUR seven billion in EU funding from 2007 to 2017. And behind these numbers, behind the statistics, there are people’s lives. People’s lives that have been changed because of EU cohesion policy.

I believe this is one of the textbook examples of how EU cohesion policy is changing the environment. Moreover, this contribution has been done with cross-financing and coordination with the Peace Programme so, yet again, the European Union has shown that it knows how to work to bring back peace – and peace is priceless.

Here, I would like to congratulate Commissioner Crețu, because she dedicated herself to a better-working cohesion policy, and I think that as we approach the end of our mandate, we can show some very good results of what the European Union has achieved with its cohesion policy.

 
  
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  John Howarth, on behalf of the S&D Group. – Thank you Mr President. I congratulate my friend, the rapporteur, on an excellent and concise report. It is important to remember that the essence of the Good Friday Agreement is that it provides the framework that enables the different traditions in Northern Ireland to coexist peacefully. The important work reviewed in this report aims to maintain the climate in which peace can continue to evolve. Let us not forget that the Good Friday Agreement was approved of overwhelmingly by people on both sides of the Irish border. Sadly, there are some Brexiteers, like Mr Rees Mogg in the UK Parliament, who want to pick and choose which bits of democracy they respect, and they dismiss the importance of maintaining this agreement after Brexit. To dismiss the agreement is to take peace for granted, and when you take peace for granted, you are on a very slippery slope. So it is vital that the work described in this report continues, even if cohesion policy cannot be the vehicle. If and when Brexit goes ahead, there are other financial instruments in the union that can fill the gap, as paragraph 10 of this report makes clear.

 
  
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  James Nicholson, on behalf of the ECR Group. – Mr President, can I first of all congratulate the rapporteur and say that, two decades on from the Belfast Agreement, Northern Ireland has been transformed economically and socially. And there is no doubt that European support has played an important role in terms of economic development and social cohesion.

In recent years, funding from the European Regional Development Fund has supported a vast range of projects, including investment in the development of tourism as well as infrastructure projects. Many projects have benefited from the European Social Fund, helping individuals and families across Northern Ireland, supporting initiatives which have helped to increase skills and reduce economic inactivity. The Peace Programme has supported several big-ticket projects as well but, in my view, the greatest impact is the role it has played on the ground and in communities. So I welcome the fact that the report recognises the important contribution these funds have made to Northern Ireland and I very much agree with the rapporteur and his comments on the bottom-up approach.

Can I also say that, since the referendum result, my party has been very clear: we do not want support of this kind to be disrupted or diminished as a result of Brexit. However, I have to say I am more than disappointed by the report’s suggestion that without these funds the peace process would be put at risk. To me, this is overly simplistic at best, and at worst it risks giving a potential excuse to those who seek to justify terrorism.

I have to ask a question here, maybe to the rapporteur and maybe to the Commissioner. If we decide, or if it is decided, to give funds to Northern Ireland after 2020, and the United Kingdom is no longer part of the European Union and there will be no MEPs from Northern Ireland within the Chamber, who is actually going to represent Northern Ireland? The UK will not be at the Council table, there will be no Commissioner from the United Kingdom, and there will be no MEPs in this House, so that is a very difficult road to go down.

It is an interesting road that needs to be addressed, and it is one I have certainly given some thought to, so it will be very interesting to see how the Commission and the Council actually deal with that problem. However, I congratulate the rapporteur and I thank all those involved very much.

 
  
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  Ivan Jakovčić, u ime Kluba zastupnika ALDE-a. – Gospodine predsjedavajući, evo, mogao bih odmah odgovoriti gospodinu Nicholsonu, a to je ako ništa drugo, zadržimo Interreg program koji je poznat na način da financira one prekogranične projekte zemalja članica i zemalja nečlanica. Ujedinjeno Kraljevstvo i Sjeverna Irska neće biti dio Europske unije, ali Interreg program postoji i on može financirati sve ono što smo vidjeli u Sjevernoj Irskoj. A ono što smo vidjeli bilo je impresivno. Zaista, oduševio sam se s onim što smo vidjeli, novac koji je došao iz Europske unije stvorio je mir. Pomirba se nastavlja, vidljivo je da zajednice to žele, one zaista žive na neki način zajedno, upravo zahvaljujući onome što je došlo pomirbom na Veliki petak i Sporazumom od Velikog petka, ali i zahvaljujući financijskim sredstvima Europske unije. Peace program moramo nastaviti, ali peace program moramo i proširiti. Hajdemo ga proširiti na one zemlje gdje je bilo konflikata, a to je i moja Hrvatska, to je Kosovo, to je Bosna i Hercegovina, to je Makedonija. Imamo razloga peace program proširiti, pokazao se uspješnim u Sjevernoj Irskoj, tamo smo imali konflikt, imali smo ga i na Balkanu. Hajdemo ga proširiti jer mislimo da imamo odlične rezultate i trebamo to iskoristiti.

 
  
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  Terry Reintke, on behalf of the Verts/ALE Group. – Thank you, Mr President. ‘I have been living here my whole life. I don’t want to go back to how things were before. I cannot do that. I cannot live in this neighbourhood if we go back to how it used to be.’ This was the very simple message from a woman from a heavily segregated area in Belfast whose neighbourhood and community had benefited from peace funds, where a big community centre had been built, and slowly but surely things started to change, things started to develop. She told us about her experiences, about her life, about the history of the place where she grew up. She told us about the violence, the division, the economic devastation. She didn’t have any political agenda. She probably didn’t even have a strong opinion about the European Union. All that she wanted us to know was her story and for her story to be taken into consideration when we take decisions here in the European Parliament.

When we went to Northern Ireland, with a delegation from this Parliament, no matter where we went, no matter whom we talked to, the message was always very similar. The peace funding has played an integral role to build peace in a conflict-ridden area in Europe, not only to rebuild infrastructure and the economy, but also to bring people together who had been segregated and separated for decades. Peace is very hard to build and very easy to destroy. As Europeans we have learnt this lesson over and over again in the past centuries. Now for me, it is very clear, we have to make sure that the peace funding will not be lost. We cannot let this Brexit disaster mess up the peace in Northern Ireland. As Europeans we have a responsibility, a responsibility to protect a hard-earned peace.

 
  
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  Martina Anderson, on behalf of the GUE/NGL Group. – Mr President, I commend Derek Vaughan on his report. Cohesion funding has played a huge role in supporting the Good Friday Agreement via aiding thousands and thousands of people who depend on this funding for their businesses, community projects and infrastructure. The British Government says it will guarantee EU funding streams to the north post-2020. However, what if there is no Brexit deal? The civil servants in the north have already identified a shortfall of over 10 million. Even if the British were to deliver on their dodgy guarantees, the British Cabinet – a gang of incompetent fools – say people should keep calm and carry on and ignore the Brexit chaos. MEPs, especially the two unionists from the north of Ireland, need to endorse this report and to vote in favour of it. No washed-out kingdom fixated on its empire of old will ever serve the interests of the people of Ireland, north and south.

The north of Ireland needs a differentiated approach. It needs all strands of cohesion funding to apply to it, not just now, but in the post-Brexit future, and as the only MEP from the north who’s fighting Brexit every day, I deeply appreciate the fact that the north is getting this kind of special financial assistance and financial special status post-Brexit.

 
  
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  Diane Dodds (NI). – Thank you Mr President, and thank you to our colleague Mr Vaughan and indeed the whole Regional Development Committee (REGI) for this report.

Cohesion funds have played a part in consolidating progress in Northern Ireland. This has not been without faults. In respect of innocent victims of terrorism, I would question the reports premise that this has always been viewed as neutral money in how it has been allocated. And in more recent times, community organisations including voluntary and womenʼs organisations have argued that red tape has curtailed benefits for local people. Of course, it is money that also originates from UK taxpayers as an EU Member State and so our focus going forward must not be on how it is lost, but on how it can be used to bring even better benefits.

The Government has indicated that there will be a shared prosperity fund across the UK post-Brexit. It also wants to agree cooperation accords with the EU to collaborate in specific areas of investment. Moving forward, we will continue to work with our government to ensure that the commitments towards peace and Interreg programmes are honoured. This is necessary and positive work, and we look forward to working in goodwill and cooperation.

 
  
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  Lambert van Nistelrooij (PPE). – Mr President, this is a special report. It is an implementation report that was initiated by Parliament and we produced it at the right moment. We have heard what the implementation will entail: it is very positive and, in this regard, if you look to the future it is extremely important to note that we already have instruments under the Interreg programme going cross-border and working in a very targeted and dedicated way. We could see, especially during our visit, that this works.

Let me say that borders are, in fact, something from the past. We resolved this issue: we waved away the ‘old scars’ both politically and also in a practical sense. My wish and the wish of the EPP Group is that Mr Barnier – who, I know, already has the Peace+ programme in his toolbox – also resolves it and that people will again feel the contribution of Europe in the future. This is worth talking about.

Good report, Mr Vaughan!

 
  
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  Joachim Zeller (PPE). – Herr Präsident, Frau Kommissarin! Ich hatte die Ehre, im März dieses Jahres die Delegation des Ausschusses für regionale Entwicklung in Nordirland zu leiten. Das Karfreitagsabkommen von 1998 war kurz vor seinem zwanzigsten Jahrestag. Wir hatten viele Gesprächspartner aus der Politik und der Zivilgesellschaft, und mich berührten besonders zwei Dinge: erstens, dass alle Gesprächspartner die bisherigen EU-Hilfen als notwendig und wirksam lobten, um die vorher gewaltsam ausgetragenen Konflikte zwischen den gesellschaftlichen Gruppen in Nordirland zu beenden, dass uns aber auch zweitens alle versicherten, dass der Friedens- und Versöhnungsprozess in Nordirland noch nicht nachhaltig genug und immer noch zerbrechlich ist. Ein harter Brexit ohne Fortführung der EU-Programme in und mit Nordirland wird die alten Konflikte wieder aufbrechen lassen. Das ist die Botschaft, die sie uns mitgaben, und diese Warnung sollten wir sehr ernst nehmen, wie wir ja vor nicht allzu langer Zeit auch bereits in Derry gesehen haben. Vor allem diejenigen, die auf dem Rücken der Menschen und der Schicksale in Nordirland ihre politischen Brexitspielchen austragen, sollten das beherzigen.

 
  
 

Procedura "catch the eye"

 
  
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  Stanislav Polčák (PPE). – Pane předsedající, i já bych chtěl poděkovat kolegovi Vaughanovi za předloženou zprávu, která přišla skutečně v pravý čas a je podle mého názoru velmi kvalitní. Důležitost evropských fondů je skutečně patrná zejména právě v té přeshraniční spolupráci a u těchto přeshraničních programů. Politika soudržnosti má odstraňovat určitá znevýhodnění, myslím si, že má také zasypávat staré rány, ať neobživnou nové konflikty, a že má usmiřovat komunity. V Severním Irsku jsme byli svědky skutečné změny jak v ekonomice, tak i v sociální soudržnosti a myslím, že ta změna byla pozitivní a bylo by dobré tento výsledek neztratit.

Velmi rád jsem slyšel od paní komisařky, že právě program PEACE+ v tom novém programovacím období by měl zahrnout i přímo ty pohraniční oblasti, to si myslím, že je velmi dobré. Ostatně paní komisařka toho udělala velmi hodně, chtěl bych ji za to ocenit v této oblasti a pro ty přeshraniční fondy v tom novém programovacím období by mělo být místo, protože právě tyto programy nám mají ukázat, jak lze budovat přeshraniční spolupráci, je to myslím důležité zejména pro Balkán.

 
  
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  Izaskun Bilbao Barandica (ALDE). – Señor presidente, quiero expresar mi total apoyo a la continuidad en Irlanda del Norte de los programas de cohesión y especialmente el programa PEACE, que es fundamental para la consolidación del proceso de paz salido del Acuerdo del Viernes Santo.

El PEACE es un ejemplo de cómo la Unión, con compromiso político y financiero, ha contribuido en suelo europeo a la resolución de un conflicto reconciliando comunidades y promoviendo un desarrollo más justo. Por eso, el Brexit no debe impedir que se mantenga este apoyo ejemplar a la paz y a la justicia social desde la Unión Europea.

Esta intervención es, además, un modelo para otras regiones europeas que han vivido graves episodios de violencia —como el País Vasco— porque, aunque el origen y el desarrollo del conflicto irlandés y el terrorismo de ETA no son comparables, sí lo son algunas de sus consecuencias. Aprovechar las experiencias impulsadas por la Unión Europea y el reconocimiento derivado de ellas es muy útil para resolver problemas de convivencia y valores sobre los que los vascos queremos seguir trabajando bien acompañados.

 
  
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  Julie Ward (S&D). – Mr President, ideologically imposed austerity and an ineffective devolution deal from Westminster have left Northern Ireland less economically developed than other regions of the UK for decades. The government’s own impact assessments predict a devastating 8% hit to the economic growth of Northern Ireland if the UK leaves the European Union, and others have put the figure far higher.

Two years on from the EU referendum, the government are yet to lay out a single workable plan to maintain the integrity of the Good Friday Agreement, one of the EU’s most celebrated symbols of peace. Theresa May’s customs plans have unravelled. They are bureaucratic, unworkable and designed to paper over the cracks of a divided Tory Government, rather than deliver a deal that works for the British people. The Conservatives’ dirty deal with the DUP and the collapse of power sharing in Stormont, with no imminent sign of its return, further add to the lack of Northern Ireland’s democratic voice during the negotiating process.

So it is time for all of us to acknowledge that there is only one way to maintain the full integrity of the Irish border and prevent the economic and social downturn that Brexit will inevitably bring, and that is to stop it. That’s what the majority of the people in Northern Ireland want.

 
  
  

PRESIDENZA DELL'ON. FABIO MASSIMO CASTALDO
Vicepresidente

 
  
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  Bogdan Andrzej Zdrojewski (PPE). – Panie Przewodniczący! Cieszy wspólna dość zgodna opinia o sensowności wydanych środków finansowych na poprawienie sytuacji w Irlandii Północnej. Muszę powiedzieć, że przyjmuję to z satysfakcją, natomiast to co martwi, to właśnie ta kolejna perspektywa, która pojawiła się w ostatnich głosach w tej debacie w tej dyskusji, związana oczywiście z brexitem.

Brexit dla Irlandii Północnej jest poważnym zagrożeniem. Warto przy tej okazji, zwracając uwagę na to co osiągnęliśmy do tej pory, spróbować już zastosować określoną receptę na zbliżającą się perspektywę. Poza Wielką Brytanią, Irlandia Północna może być pierwszym poważnym negatywnym beneficjentem braku stosownych porozumień i recept na następną perspektywę, zwracam uwagę właśnie ten mankament.

 
  
 

(Fine della procedura "catch the eye")

 
  
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  Corina Crețu, Member of the Commission. – Mr President, honourable Members, in the light of all your interventions, it seems we all agree that there is strong consensus about the fact that cohesion policy programmes have been of key importance for the economic and social progress of Northern Ireland. This also means that the implementation of programmes has been successful overall. In particular, the Peace and Interreg (European Territorial Cooperation) projects have demonstrated that cross-border cooperation is not an abstract concept: it is part of the daily life of citizens and it provides a space for people to come together and forge new partnerships. I liked very much what you said – that peace is very easy to destroy, but very hard to build, and we should not take it for granted. I thank you very much for all your interventions.

We will have the opportunity later today during the debate on Mr Hetman’s report to discuss further the importance of ensuring strong cohesion in border regions, but we have here a first taste with Northern Ireland. It is undoubtedly one of the most telling examples of what cohesion policy has helped to achieve in border regions and beyond. There are countless examples where European funding has made a real difference to citizens, businesses, researchers, schools and local and regional authorities, and this report recognises that cohesion policy is one of the keys that can unlock our social, economic and cultural transformation. We must strive to defend it, and make every effort to further increase its effectiveness. This is why, as I said, the Commission has proposed a balanced budget beyond 2020 which preserves cohesion policy as a policy which is both strong and for all the regions.

I trust that the findings in your report will underpin your reflection on the future of cohesion policy and that you will give the negotiation of the legislative packages the highest priority so that a new legislative framework can be adopted a soon as possible. This is together with the negotiation of the MFF. We will also respond to the question from Mr Nicholson on how this peace+ programme will be implemented in the future. Let’s see how the Brexit negotiations turn out. Thank you once again for all your contributions.

 
  
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  Derek Vaughan, Rapporteur. – Mr President, I’ll just try to respond to a couple of points and then make a few concluding remarks.

First of all, I would like to thank colleagues for their positive comments right across the Chamber, although I think one or two colleagues didn’t quite get the e—mail about what this report is supposed to be about and what it is not supposed to be about. But I think, in general, the comments were very, very welcome.

I particularly welcome the comments from Mr Nicholson and the question he raised, and I think you, Commissioner, partly answered that. We need to look at what Member States – and particularly, maybe, the Irish Government – are saying about how EU funds are administered in the future and how Northern Ireland is represented in those discussions. I also welcomed his comments when he said that Northern Ireland has come a long way. There has been huge economic improvement and tensions have been reduced, but we do know that those tensions still bubble away. When we were there on the delegations, one of the things we were told was that some survey work had been done and since the referendum, attitudes have hardened amongst the community. So I hope nobody gets the impression – and they should not get the view from the report – that no EU funds means a return to troubles. The report isn’t saying that, and I wouldn’t say that, but what I am saying – and what I think the report says – is that the EU funds have made a valuable contribution to reducing those tensions and conflicts. So I think that is the important point in terms of Mr Nicholson’s view.

Therefore EU funds should continue in the future. We should continue to fund Interreg and the PEACE Programme. We have seen for ourselves on our delegation how welcome those funds are and how important those funds are for making a contribution to communities. Whatever happens in the future – deal or no deal, as Ms Anderson said – the UK Government, the Irish Government and the European Union should commit to continuing to operate and fund Interreg and the PEACE Programme.

Ms Dodds is right that nothing is ever important. In the REGI Committee we spend a huge amount of time talking about bureaucracy and simplifying things so we all want to reduce bureaucracy and we also want to make things as simple as possible, particularly for users. But, overall, these funds have been good. They have delivered on the ground. As I said in my earlier contribution, one of the reasons why they have delivered on the ground is because local people themselves have owned it. They have decided how they want to spend the money. They have decided how they are going to spend the money on important things, which are going to impact on their communities.

So, just to conclude, I think it is absolutely vital that these funds continue in the future. I hope everybody in this Parliament, right across the political divide, right across the Chamber, would support this report tomorrow and send a clear message from this Parliament.

 
  
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  Presidente. – La discussione è chiusa.

La votazione si svolgerà martedì 11 settembre 2018.

Dichiarazioni scritte (articolo 162)

 
  
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  Tom Vandenkendelaere (PPE), schriftelijk. – Het is duidelijk dat de uitgebreide hulpprogramma’s van het Europese cohesiebeleid het laatste decennium hun vruchten hebben afgeworpen in Noord-Ierland. De Europese bijdrage van meer dan EUR 1 miljard tussen 2014 en 2020 via verschillende fondsen zorgt tot op de dag van vandaag onder andere voor:

Blijvende economische groei met de laagste werkloosheidscijfers in tien jaar;

Intensieve begeleiding bij de transformatie van de zware industrie naar een meer dienstengerichte economie;

Duurzame economische activiteiten.

Daarnaast speelt de EU een fundamentele rol in de vredesgesprekken tussen Ierland en Noord-Ierland. Ongeacht de uitkomst van de brexitonderhandelingen moet volgens mij de Europese steun aan Noord-Ierland verzekerd blijven. Noord-Ierland neemt reeds voor een aanzienlijke periode deel aan het ambitieuze Europese project, en de intensieve samenwerking – zeker betreffende de vredesprojecten – moet in mijn opinie dan ook voorgezet worden.

 
Posljednje ažuriranje: 9. studenog 2018.Pravna napomena