Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson has raised concerns about the British government’s attempts to delay vital EU funding for community organisations.
Speaking after voting against delays in cohesion policy programmes for 2014-2020, Ms Anderson said;
“Cohesion policy funding represents the main EU-wide investment policy and there are many groups and organisations in the North and throughout Ireland which depend on this funding.
“There has already been a significant delay in the implementation of the current funding period with the likelihood of programmes not starting until mid-2015.
“The implementation of the new operation programmes must not be delayed further.
“As well as the delay in implementing the 2014-2020 programming period there is also a backlog in payments amounting to approximately EUR 23 billion for the 2007-2013 period.
“All of this is creating huge uncertainty among community and voluntary groups and SMEs which depend on this funding.
“That is why I and a majority of MEPs voted against the British Government’s attempt to delay this EU payment.
“The impact of the backlog of payments and the ongoing delays are adversely affecting the implementation of the new Operational Programmes for the many groups relying on EU Funds.”