The Office of the Northern Ireland Executive in Brussels hosted the launch of PEACEPLUS on 12th October 2023, following the formal launch of the programme in Belfast the previous month. The launch event was co-hosted by the UK Mission to the EU, the Permanent Representation of Ireland to the EU, the European Commission, and the Office of the Northern Ireland Executive in Brussels.
The €1.14billion programme is designed to support continued peace and prosperity across Northern Ireland and its border counties. The launch was attended by a range of Brussels-based stakeholders, both those involved in the development of the programme as well as its predecessors the PEACE and INTERREG programmes.
PEACEPLUS consists of a partnership between the European Union, the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, the Government of Ireland, and the Northern Ireland Executive. Senior representatives from each jurisdiction gathered in Brussels to celebrate the launch of the Programme and reflect on the successes of the many EU-funded projects delivered since 1998. Looking to the future, PEACEPLUS will deliver vital investment across six key themes designed to ensure the continued economic, social and environmental development of Northern Ireland and the six border counties.
The event was opened by ONIEB Director, Aodhán Connolly, and was addressed by Ambassador and Head of the UK Mission to the European Union, Lindsay Croisdale-Appleby; Ambassador Aingeal O’Donoghue Permanent Representation of Ireland to the EU; Normunds Popens, Deputy Director General of the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Regional and Urban Policy and Gina McIntyre, Chief Executive of the Special EU Programmes Body.
The Programme will be managed by the Special EU Programmes Body (SEUPB) and includes a focus on continued peacebuilding activities and taking the opportunity to implement actions which will contribute positively to delivering socio-economic regeneration and transformation, supporting a sustainable and better-connected future, investing in young people and building peaceful and more inclusive communities.
PEACEPLUS has a total budget of €1.14 billion. The UK Government is providing more than £730 million to the programme, which includes match funding contribution from the Northern Ireland Executive. This represents almost 75% of the total programme budget, with the remaining €293.6m (25%) coming from the European Union and Government of Ireland.