The Southern Regional Assembly is celebrating Europe Day by highlighting 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’s 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 across the region.
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 response 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”.
Tipperary’s Cllr. Michael Murphy is an Assembly Member and the Head of the Irish delegation to the Committee of the Regions, the voice of our regions and cities in the EU law making process, representing the EU's one million locally elected leaders to ensure that the needs, ambitions, and aspirations of millions of citizens are heard and acted on.
He has seen the benefits of EU funding on the ground in Tipperary and across the Southern Region.
He commented, “The EU invests approximately a fifth of its budget on regional development, largely through the ERDF, and Irish regions and localities have definitely reaped the benefits over the years, including infrastructure projects linked to sustainability, research and innovation, telecommunications, the environment and energy; and transport projects”.
Based in Waterford, the Southern Regional 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.
Cllr Michael Murphy, Assembly Member and Head of the Irish delegation to the Committee of the Regions
The Tipperary Assembly Members are Cllr. Siobhán Ambrose, Cllr. Michael O’Meara, Cllr. Noel Coonan and the Committee of the Regions Member, Cllr. Michael Murphy.
Find out more about regional planning and EU supports on our website www.southernassembly.ie.