Celebrating Europe Day 2021: EU Delivers in the Regions

The Southern Regional Assembly is celebrating Europe Day to highlight the real impact of Ireland’s EU membership to regions and communities, from small business supports through the Local Enterprise Offices, to sustainable urban regeneration through the local authorities, and education and research activities.

Every 9th May Europe Day celebrates the peace and unity across Europe that has been created since the Schuman Declaration in 1950, and its vision for a new form of political cooperation and peace in Europe. The Declaration led to setting up the European Coal and Steel Community and the start of the story of the European Union we know today.

The Assembly manages the European Regional Development Fund Southern & Eastern (ERDF S&E) Regional Programme, worth over €620 million, which co-finances small business supports, research and development, low carbon supports, supports to the health service in response to the pandemic, and sustainable urban development projects in Limerick.

Exciting Plans for O’Connell Street – Limerick’s Premier Street

Limerick City and County Council’s exciting plans for the redevelopment of Limerick’s premier street - O’Connell Street – will breathe new life into the area and make it more visually appealing for pedestrians and residents to enjoy, with co-financing from the ERDF S&E Regional Programme. The project also includes support for including more sustainable transport options in the area.

Cllr. John Sheahan, Cathaoirleach of the Southern Regional Assembly said, “Limerick City & County Council’s plans for our City Centre are exciting and we are delighted to see how support from the ERDF is being maximised for this project to deliver a sustainable and attractive piece of urban development for the benefit of locals and visitors”.

Pandemic Response Supporting our Healthcare Workers

The COVID-19 pandemic has tested our healthcare services, and the ERDF S&E Regional Programme responded by awarding the HSE €189 million to support access and supply of essential PPE for the health services in the Southern & Eastern region. The funding is part of the wider EU response to the onset of the pandemic last year.

David Kelly, Assembly Director said, “HSE has led an extraordinary challenge to ensure the supply of PPE under extremely difficult circumstances. We are glad that the Regional Programme was able to respond quickly to support this effort”.

Based in Waterford, the Assembly has a remit for regional and spatial planning, including the Regional Spatial & Economic Strategy for the Southern Region, and the management and delivery of ERDF programmes, such as the ERDF S&E Regional Programme and Interreg Programmes. Last year, the Assembly audited EU funding claims worth over €7 million to Irish organisations that are participating in Interreg projects which support new and next-stage research, small business supports, and bring expertise and knowledge from other EU regions to inform our public policy development.

The Southern Region is represented by 33 local councillors who serve as Assembly Members and meet monthly to discuss issues related to regional planning, local, national and EU policies, EU programme management and EU project benefits. The Limerick Assembly Members are Cllr. John Sheahan (Assembly Cathaoirleach), Cllr. Frankie Daly, and Cllr. Michael Collins (Mayor of the City & County of Limerick). Find out more about our activities and EU supports on our website: www.southernassembly.ie 

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