Published: Fri, 05 February 2016
The EU’s current flood disaster assistance and the sustainable long-term funding possibilities for Ireland topped the agenda of a meeting between Seán Kelly MEP and EU Regional Commissioner, Corina Cretu, in Strasbourg this week.
“Commissioner Cretu is encouraging Ireland to apply for assistance under the European Solidarity Fund in relation to the severe flooding incidents in 2015 and ongoing difficulties experienced by homeowners, businesses, farmers and so on,” the Ireland South MEP said after the meeting.
“Assistance from Fund may be mobilised when a major natural disaster occurs with serious repercussions for living conditions, natural environment or economy in region. As in 2009, the current situation in Ireland is that of ‘serious and lasting repercussions on the living conditions and the economic stability in a predominantly rural area struggling to improve living standards and encourage investment opportunities’. It is clear that Ireland requires some EU assistance with this matter.” Mr Kelly will work with the government on their application for this specific EU regional development funding.
“The funding would mainly help with the restoration of infrastructure, temporary accommodation and funding rescue services, the immediate securing of preventative infrastructure, protection of cultural heritage, and the clean-up of disaster stricken areas,” MEP Kelly continued.
In addition to flooding, Mr Kelly, the Leader of the Fine Gael delegation in the European Parliament, also raised other potential projects in Ireland which could be delivered via Irish Regional Operational Programmes 2014-2020 and via European Regional Development Fund’s Major Projects scheme, which would cover large-scale infrastructural projects in environment, transport, research.
MEP Kelly said he was very pleased with the outcome of the meeting with Commissioner Cretu and the positive, encouraging response from the Commissioner towards Ireland and its potential for development.