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European Parliament Regional Development Committee visit to Ireland (Waterford and Kilkenny) 26 - 28 March 2014

The Regional Development Committee (REGI) of the European Parliament will be visiting Ireland this week when they will hold a series of meetings with Ministers and Members of Dáil Eireann in Dublin before moving to Waterford and Kilkenny for a day and a half of meetings.


List of participants

Mr Joachim ZELLER, EPP Chair of the delegation
Ms Constanze KREHL, S&D
Mr Seán KELLY, EPP will join the delegation as local MEP


Post visit statements by the Delegation

"At the beginning of a new funding period for the European Union’s structural and investment funds it has been of great value for me and for the Regional Committee delegation that I chaired to make this visit to South East Ireland and more specifically to Counties Waterford and Kilkenny.  Ireland provides an excellent example of how an EU country hard hit by the economic crisis can begin to overcome that crisis by means both of EU solidarity and through its own efforts.  It is also an example for other countries and regions in Europe. In the course of our visit, we have had a rich and varied programme of meetings and visits and also exchanges of information and of ideas that have helped to deepen our understanding of the problems facing this region of Ireland, as well as of the opportunities it has to strengthen its economy.I would also like to thank Sean Kelly.  He recently chaired a delegation to my home city of Berlin and it has been a real honour to now chair a delegation to his own country.  I hope that our cooperation will last into the future."

Joachim Zeller, EPP-DE, chair of the delegation

"Firstly I am very proud that this delegation from the Regional Committee has made this visit to the South East of Ireland.  We really enjoyed both the presentations that were made and the great hospitality that was shown.   We learned a great amount, both about the challenges faced by the region and also how we can help to address them, particularly through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the European Social Fund (ESF). The Members who came on the delegation are vastly experienced and hugely influential and this will really help to put the case across for South East Ireland in a coherent manner to European decision-makers."

Seán Kelly, EPP-IE


"From my point of view, the most interesting point was the linkage between the rural funds and the European Structural and Investment Funds and the useful way in which this combination may boost social cohesion and regional development."

Constanze Krehl, S&D-DE


"Coming from the Basque Country, I am especially interested in the PEACE Programme since we have been involved in a violent political conflict in recent decades and we are right now in a phase of resolution.  We can learn quite a lot from the Irish Peace Process even if both the causes and the subsequent development of the Basque and Irish situations are different in nature."

Iñaki Irazabalbeitia Fernández, Green-ES