The focus of the Funds for the upcoming period is shaped by regulations negotiated at EU level. The draft Common Provision Regulations provides that the Funds as a whole shall support the following broad Policy Objectives:
The ERDF aims to strengthen economic and social cohesion by investing in growth-enhancing sectors to improve competitiveness and create jobs. Its primary focus will be on Policy Objectives 1, 2 and 5 (A smarter Europe and a greener, low-carbon Europe and a Europe closer to citizens).
The regulations for the upcoming programming period are still under negotiation and Ireland’s final allocation for the ERDF has yet to be decided. The ERDF is a co-financed programme, meaning that EU funding must be matched by a set percentage of national funding. This co-financing rate varies by region. Ireland will have three NUTS 2 regions in the 2021-2027 round, with two different rates of co-financing. As ‘more developed’ regions, the Southern and the Eastern & Midlands regions will receive 40% in EU financing, while as a ‘transition’ region the North-Western region will receive 55% in EU financing.
The Department of Public Expenditure and Reform, the Department of Education and Skills, and the three Regional Assemblies conducted a consultation process to inform the selection of priorities for the use of EU cohesion funding in Ireland for the period 2021-2027.
The public consultation ran from the 13th of July until the 4th of September. Stakeholders had an opportunity to learn more and express their views at an online consultation workshop on the 28th of July. There were 128 attendees at the workshop and 109 submissions were received.
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