Double announcements on Northern Ireland from Commissioner Creţu
On Thursday 14 January 2016, Commissioner Corina Creţu launched the latest EU programme for peace and reconciliation in Northern Ireland and the border region of Ireland (the "PEACE IV" programme, 2014-2020), and the re-launch of the Commission's Northern Ireland Task Force (NITF).
For the PEACE IV programme, which is a cross-border programme, the launch took the form of a joint signature of the programme documents on the part of the government of Ireland, represented by EU Permanent Representative, Declan Kelleher, the Northern Ireland Executive, represented by Europe Ministers, Emma Pengelly and Jennifer and McCann, and Commissioner Creţu for the EU. The programme has a total value of 270 million euros. It is the result of long negotiations between the Commission and the authorities from both sides of the border. It will have a strong focus on the next generation through actions in the field of shared education and investments for children and young people (such as training on tolerance and respect for diversity) The programme will also provide investments in the creation of new shared spaces and services and in projects to build positive relations and respect.
For the NITF, in a bilateral meeting with Ministers Pengelly and McCann, Commissioner Creţu confirmed that this inter-departmental support group inside the Commission would continue to be available in order to help the region become more integrated across a broad range of EU programmes and projects. She said that the NITF, which has the full support of Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, should continue "to be a genuine partnership for progress in Northern Ireland, and that idea should govern everything we do in the coming period". President Juncker said that he "welcomed very much the useful contribution the Task Force has made to the promotion of socio-economic reconstruction".
For details on the achievements in the period 2007-2014 see the Task Force Report.