September 30, 2020
MacManus makes special Regional Aid recommendations to Commission on behalf of Ireland

MacManus makes special Regional Aid recommendations to Commission on behalf of Ireland

Sinn Féin MEP Chris MacManus has outlined a five point submission to protect Regional Aid for Ireland post-Brexit. 

The EU is preparing new guidelines which could see Ireland and enterprise and tourism bodies lose out on the ability to invest in local economies through Regional Aid.

The Midlands Northwest MEP said it was vital that special protections were put in place to help protect citizens in Ireland from the fallout of a hard Brexit.

“This week I have submitted a detailed set of recommendations to the Commission as part of the Draft Guidelines on Regional Aid submission process. I feel it is important the Commission’s guidelines reflect the full reality for the Midlands Northwest region but also Ireland as a whole.”

“In summary, I have recommended that the Regional Aid Guidelines should take into the account the anticipated impact of Brexit on regions and reduced thresholds and extra scope for Regional Aid should be available in the worst affected regions.  The North West Region for example has deep structural and investment issues in certain areas and any reduction of the eligibility of such regions to regional aid will only compound a lack of progress.”

“I have asked that consideration is given fully to the fact that Ireland’s access to the single market is now further inhibited. Post Brexit, the shortest distance by sea route between the island of Ireland and the rest of the single market (France) is over 400 kilometres while from Galway the largest city in the West of Ireland to Brest is over 600km. Increased investment will be required to offset the economic impact that will be suffered by these regions.”

“I have also recommended that due thought is given to Ireland’s newly isolated geographical position and that a more accurate GDP calculation model representative of the vast variation across this region is used and where there are known statistical distortions in the GDP or other factors the Regional Aid Guidelines take these into account and consider using alternative data.”

“My final Recommendation was that a new overall approach which champions State Aid in the regions should be implemented to make sure the Covid crisis does not develop into another factor in regional disparities.”

MacManus has previously highlighted the importance of local development authorities having their say on the review of the Regional Aid Guidelines and has regularly appealed to local councils & development agencies engage in the Regional Aid Guidelines review. ENDS

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