Since Ireland joined the then EEC in 1973, we have gone from being the poorest Member State with only 57% of the average EU GDP, to one of the wealthiest in the EU, even after the terrible effects of the financial and economic crisis.

EU funds have transformed Ireland. Below, I have compiled detailed information on current funds, including the aims of the funds and how to access them.

Ireland receives just under €2 billion in funds from EU coffers per annum, with the majority nowadays going to support the agriculture industry.

EU funds have built much of our "hard" infrastructure including our national roads and motorways, rail, ports, sewerage treatment infrastructure and broadband, permitting our export-oriented economy to be one of the most productive and competitive in the world.

EU funds have also contributed to our "soft" infrastructure, with our universities, ITs, PLC colleges and Fás/Solas Training Centres deploying thousands of courses funded by the European Social Fund, as well as the Lifelong Learning, ERASMUS, Leonardo de Vinci, Comenius and Grundtvig programmes.

EU funds continue to seed entrepreneurship locally and nationally, with the Enterprise Boards providing assistance and capital for innovative start-ups and the LEADER programme providing funding for rural development.

Finally, EU funds are driving research and innovation in our universities, ITs and research institutes such as the Marine Institute through the €80 billion Horizon 2020 programme. Horizon 2020 is crucial for the future sustainability of our knowledge economy.

Newsletter

News & Events

  • Irish border agreement a “massive achievement” - MEP Kelly +

    “Today’s agreement is a massive achievement for the Irish government, for the EU27, but mostly for citizens who want to Read More
  • Disability Federation of Ireland at the European Parliament +

    It was a great pleasure to welcome members of the Disability Federation of Ireland to the Parliament today with my Read More
  • Brexit: "EPP standing firm with Ireland on border" - MEP Kelly +

    Seán Kelly MEP, leader of Fine Gael in the European Parliament, has thanked the European People's Party (EPP) Group for Read More
  • GAA is example for EU: Kelly launches European Platform for Traditional Sports and Games +

    Seán Kelly MEP and Leader of Fine Gael in the European Parliament officially launched the European Platform for Traditional Sports Read More
  • MEP Kelly receives backing for Ireland’s firm stance on border from EPP Group +

    MEP for Ireland South and leader of Fine Gael in the European Parliament has this morning reiterated the importance of Read More
  • MEP Kelly to raise Shannon Foynes Port with An Taoiseach +

    “Shannon Foynes Port has massive economic potential and is of vital importance to Limerick, Cork, Clare but also to Ireland Read More
  • Ireland-South group hosted in Brussels by MEP Seán Kelly +

    Seán Kelly MEP and Leader of Fine Gael in the European Parliament was joined this week in Brussels by Ireland Read More
  • Kelly secures EU Parliament agreement on renewable energy target +

    Seán Kelly MEP and Leader of Fine Gael in the European Parliament today secured the backing of MEPs on an Read More
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Jargon Buster

  • Special EU Programmes Body +

    Special EU Programmes Body ... In 1994, following the announcement of the IRA Ceasefire, the then President of the Commission Jacques Delors, Read More
  • European Financial Stability Fund +

    European Financial Stability Fund ... On the night of the 9th of May 2010, the European Council - the summit of EU leaders, Read More
  • Erasmus Programme +

    Erasmus Programme ... Travel broadens the mind and education fills it, so what better way to expand your horizons than to travel Read More
  • Leonardo da Vinci +

    Leonardo da Vinci is arguably history's most famous artist and inventor, known equally for the Mona Lisa as for providing blueprints Read More
  • Rapporteur +

    Rapporteur is a word often heard around the European Parliament. Derived from the French, it simply means "author of a report". Read More
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