Country digest: Ireland
Schuman Associates is the leading consultancy working on European funding and project financing. We are delighted to continue our series of “Country Digest” with Ireland, where we have local presence with an office in Dublin.
This year, Ireland celebrated 45 years of EU membership with 45 stories of how various aspects of Irish life has changed since entering the EU.
Many of these stories in the #EU45Stories campaign narrate where EU funding has brought the benefits, from funds to Irish universities such as the Trinity College Dublin ERC research grants for the battery of the future, to the environment Life funding for raised bogs in the Midlands and cohesion funding for harvesting seaweed in the West of Ireland.
Cohesion Policy 2014-2020
For 2014-2020, Ireland has been allocated a total of around EUR 1.19 billion in Cohesion Policy funding. This includes EUR 951.6 million for more developed regions, EUR 168.8 million for European Territorial Cooperation such as cooperation with Northern Ireland and Wales. Finally, another EUR 68.1 million for the Youth Employment Initiative has been earmarked.
Cohesion Policy funding is available for projects in areas like: R&D, Environment, Employment, Energy, Improvement of Public Administration, Broadband, Urban Development and Smart Cities, etc. The Irish light rail, the Luas benefited as did the CÚRAM, the Science Foundation Ireland Centre for Research in Medical Devices, these are just some of the many projects that received financial assistance through the EU’s cohesion funding.
The Border, Midland and Western Regional Operational Programme 2014-2020 has a total budget for of EUR 321 Million while the Southern & Eastern Regional Operational Programme covering the South and East of Ireland finances a total of EUR 500 Million.
Ireland is "performing well" in terms of drawing down and spending European Social and Investment (ESI) funds, with EUR 926 million in outstanding payments and EUR 297 million of payments made in 2017.
Other EU Funding
Ireland is also benefiting from other EU funding. Here are some interesting facts about the Irish performance in using Brussels managed funds:
- In 2015, Ireland received for Connecting Europe Facility (CEF), EUR 45 Million for projects including work on the Cork Container Terminal development, Impact of CNG on the Irish Gas Network and Connecting the International Sea Cargo to Irish Railways
- Ireland is also advancing the take up of the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI). As of September 2018, the overall financing volume of operations approved under EFSI amounted to EUR 1.3 Billion. One such example is the Irish forest management project that invested in privately owned forests.
- From 2014-2016, Ireland secured EUR 475 million in EU funding under Horizon 2020 for the first 3 years of the programme. One such H2020 project to make Ireland, one of the world’s most famous potato producers by working on local spuds’ genetic markers.
EU Funding 2021-2027
For the next EU 2021-2027 budget, the European Commission proposed an allocation of EUR 1.22 billion in cohesion policy funding for Ireland. Negotiations on the final budgets are now at the level of the EU institutions and are expected to close in mid-2019. In the meantime, Ireland will start to draft its national and sectoral strategies as well as the proposed funding Operational Programmes that will outline how the EUR 1.22 billion will be spent.