Pat the Cope Gallagher MEP has today said that Ireland will receive €1.2 billion in EU Structural Funds during the period 2014 to 2020.

“The Irish Government will have to present a plan to the European Commission this summer outlining exactly how these monies will be spent, in what is called a series of different operational programmes”, commented MEP Gallagher.

“These monies must target the funding of initiatives to combat youth and long-term unemployment, which are at unacceptably high levels in Ireland.

“Equally, these operational programmes must ensure support for the research, innovation and science sectors. This is critical if we are going to maintain employment in Ireland and in turn, create high-quality jobs in the technology, health, food, transport, energy and agriculture sectors.

“Ireland’s future Structural Fund programmes 2014 – 2020 must strongly invest in the digital economy by expanding broadband access, especially to rural and peripheral areas.

“Jobs, Jobs, Jobs – that has to be the central theme of how Ireland will be spending €1.2 billion worth of EU Structural Funds during the period 2014 – 2020.”