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

  • Whiskey and spirits to get enhanced geographical protection labelling +

    Alcoholic spirit drinks are to benefit from enhanced protection under labelling and geographical indications to protect such drinks that originate Read More
  • Cork & Limerick students pitch EU plan to reduce "carbon cup print" +

    A group of secondary school students from Counties Cork and Limerick, who attend Charleville CBS, Co. Cork presented their plan Read More
  • Brazilian meat: EU Commissioner is "sincere but naive" +

    MEP for Ireland South and leader of Fine Gael in the European Parliament, Seán Kelly, has labelled comments by EU Read More
  • MEP Kelly criticises ex-diplomat’s “unhelpful and misleading” suggestion that Ireland should leave the EU +

    Fine Gael leader in the European Parliament, Seán Kelly MEP, has criticised suggestions made by former Irish diplomat, Ray Bassett, Read More
  • MEP Kelly slams Commission proposal to phase out biofuels +

    The lead negotiator for the largest parliamentary group in the European Parliament on the Renewable Energy Directive, Seán Kelly MEP, Read More
  • FG MEPs congratulate Taoiseach Leo Varadkar +

    The four Fine Gael MEPs have congratulated Leo Varadkar on his election as An Taoiseach today (Wednesday). Seán Kelly, Mairead Read More
  • The end of extortionate roaming charges - Seán Kelly MEP +

    From today (Thursday), extortionate mobile roaming charges will be a thing of the past thanks to the European Union, according Read More
  • MEP Kelly criticises Parliament position on 2030 target – would lead to a poor use of Irish taxpayer's money +

    MEP for Ireland South and Energy Committee rapporteur for the European People’s Party (EPP) on the 2030 climate targets, Seán 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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