European Union Funding
Cohesion Policy 2007-2013
Programmes under the Cohesion policy framework 2007-2013 as they relate to Ireland include Territorial Co-operation Programme, Regional Competitiveness and Employment Programme.
The Maasthricht Treaty provides that Cohesion Funding should be granted to Member States with a per capita GNP of less than 90% of the Community average to assist the national programme aimed at achieving economic convergence. The countries meeting this criterion when the Fund was created were Ireland, Spain, Greece and Portugal.
The Cohesion Fund finances projects in the area of transport infrastructure, including national roads which are part of the Trans-European Network identified by the European Union.
The TEN-T is a financial instrument established to facilitate the development of the Trans-European Network for Transport, which includes a number of key national primary roads in Ireland. The fund is intended to complement the development of the network already assisted from other EU funding instruments such as the Cohesion Fund.
Interreg 111A/IVA Funding
The Interreg programme is designed to support cross border cooperation between the regions of the European Union. The Ireland/Northern Ireland Interreg 111A and Interreg IVA programmes covers all of Northern Ireland and the six border counties in Ireland i.e. Cavan, Donegal, Leitrim, Louth, Monaghan and Sligo. The Special EU Programmes Body (SEUPB) has responsibility for the management of Interreg IIIA/IVA programmes.
BMW Regional Operational Programme 2007- 2013
Under the 2007-2013 round of EU Structural Funds, the Border, Midland and Western region is no longer eligible as an Objective 1 Region and qualifies for assistance as a Regional Competitiveness and Employment Region (Objective 2).
The Irish Government, as set out in the National Strategic Reference Framework (NSRF) has decided that Cohesion policy will be delivered through separate Regional Operational Programmes for the BMW and the Southern and Eastern regions. The BMW Regional Assembly has been designated by the Irish Government as the Managing Authority for the new programme and responsible for its preparation and delivery. The new Operational Programme was prepared taking account of EU priorities, regulations and guidelines, national policies and strategies and regional needs.
The Authority has included two major projects for co-financing under the Programme, the N52 Tullamore Bypass and the M6 Athlone Ballinasloe scheme.