The EU is set to ensure that the current PEACE programme, which supports peace and reconciliation, can continue between the border counties of Ireland and Northern Ireland under all Brexit scenarios.
EU ambassadors today supported without amendments a proposal for a regulation which establishes rules for the continuation of the cooperation programmes across the Irish border in the event of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU without a negotiated agreement.
In addition to the PEACE IV programme, the regulation also covers the INTERREG VA programme which promotes economic, social and territorial cohesion across Northern Ireland, the border counties of Ireland and Western Scotland.
The two programmes would continue to be financed from the EU budget on the basis of the current management structures also under a “no deal” scenario. The funding levels would remain unchanged until the end of 2020.
The European Parliament at committee level gave its green light to the proposed regulation last week, also endorsing it without changes. As a result, no negotiations between the Council and the Parliament are planned for this file. The EP is expected to formally adopt its position at first reading at its first plenary session in March. The adoption in the Council is scheduled for mid-March.
The EU co-legislators are working rapidly to ensure that the regulation can enter into force by 29 March 2019.