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Home /Community Initiatives/ Community Initiatives article

Community Initiatives

Reform of the Structural Funds in 1988 resulted in the provision of a budget for special programmes, known as Community Initiatives, to find common solutions to specific problems affecting the whole of the E.U.. They are co-financed by the E.U. Structural Funds but are outside the Community Support Framework Structure.
Four Community Initiatives will operate in Ireland in the 2000-2006 period:

INTERREG III
LEADER+
EQUAL
URBAN

The Community Initiatives are based on guidelines drawn up by the European Commission and prepared in consultation with a Regional Policy Committee that consists of senior civil servants nominated by the Member States. On the basis of these guidelines, the appointed Managing Authority for each Community Initiative in each Member State draws up an Operational Programme (O.P.) for each Initiative. Ireland will receive 1.5% of the total E.U. budget for Community Initiatives for the 2000- 2006 period - this amounts to €176 million.

EQUAL IDEAS BANK
www.ideasbank-equal.info

INTERREG III

INTERREG promotes cross-border, transnational and inter-regional co-operation within the E.U.. It covers cross-border projects under 3 strands:

Strand A
Strand A involves joint projects between neighbouring regions. In Ireland two Programmes are supported under this strand.

1. Ireland - Northern Ireland Programme
2. Ireland - Wales Programme

Strand B
Strand B allows for the elaboration of spatial development strategies in large transnational "European Regions" which cover a number of neighbouring E.U. Member States in specific regions. Ireland is included in 2 transnational INTERREG regions, the North-West Europe Region and the Atlantic Area Region. Projects under Strand B have to fulfill the criteria specified in the programme covering each specific region, and will be administered by joint Secretariats established for each region.

Strand C
Strand C provides for inter-regional cooperation, particularly between the different INTERREG regions specified under Strand B. These will be administered in conjunction with the Secretariats for Strand B transnational regions.

INTERREG is funded by the European Regional Development Fund (E.R.D.F).

The E.R.D.F. has allocated €89.3m to organisations in Ireland involved in cooperative projects under INTERREG during the current programming period (until 2006). The organisations charged with promoting awareness of these programmes and facilitating Irish involvement are:

Organisasions promoting awareness of INTERREG Programmes:
Organisation INTERREG Programme
Special European Union Programmes Body
www.eugrants.org
Ireland - Northern Ireland Programme
www.seupb.org
Southern & Eastern Regional Assembly
www.seregassembly.ie
Ireland - Wales Programme
www.wefo.wales.gov.uk
North West Europe Programme
www.nweurope.org
Strand C - Interregional Programme
www.interreg3c.net
Border Midland & Western Regional Assembly
www.bmwassembly.ie
Atlantic Area Programme
www.interreg-atlantique.org

For further information on the North West Europe Programme please contact:
Ronan Gingles,
Programme Liaison Officer,
Interreg North West Europe Programme,
Southern and Eastern Regional Assembly,
Assembly House,
O'Connell St,
Waterford.
Tel: + 353 51 860711
Fax: +353 51 879887
Email: rgingles@seregassembly.ie
Web:
http://www.nweurope.org
http://www.seregassembly.ie

For further information on the Atlantic Area Programme please contact:
Michael O'Brien,
Programme Liaison Officer,
Atlantic Area Programme,
Border, Midlands and Western Regional Assembly,
The Square,
Ballaghaderreen,
Co. Roscommon.
Tel: + 353 (0) 94 9862970
Fax: +353 (0) 94 9862973
Email: mobrien@bmwassembly.ie
Web:
http://www.interreg-atlantique.org/eng/index.htm
http://www.bmwassembly.ie/

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LEADER+

The LEADER+ Programme is targeted at promoting rural development through improving the economic environment to create job opportunities, and through training and capacity building. LEADER+ is more restrictive than its predecessors, and only very innovative pilot-type projects will be allowed. LEADER+ has been alloted €47.9m by the European Agriculture Guidance and Guarantee Fund (E.A.G.G.F.) and €25.8m from the Exchequer. Given the limited funding available, not all areas will receive LEADER+ funding. Financial assistance is channelled through "Local Action Groups" (LAGs), which are responsible for drawing up development strategies, and for their implementation.

Some of the priorities around which development strategies are based include:
Use of new technologies to make products and services in rural areas more competitive.
Improving the quality of life in rural areas.
Facilitating access to markets for small producers Making the best use of natural and cultural resources.

With the exception of small-scale actions, investment in infrastructure is not eligible under LEADER+. Investment in areas such as rural tourism and assistance to collective bodies is included in the National Rural Development Programme, which has a budget of some €75 million. Funding under the National Rural Development Programme will be available in all areas of the country, and some areas will receive funding under both LEADER+ and this programme.

Nation-wide, 35 local action groups and 3 collective bodies were selected by the Government to implement the new programmes.

LEADER+ Programme Groups 2000-2006

For further information please contact:
Managing Authority LEADER+,
Department of Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs,
Dún Aimhirgin,
42-49 Mespil Road,
Dublin 4.
Tel: +353 (0)1 647 3000
Fax: +353 (0)1 667 0826
Lo-Call: 1890 474 847
Email: eolas@pobail.ie
Web: www.pobail.ie

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EQUAL

The aim of EQUAL is to fight discrimination and inequality in the labour market. Assistance is channelled through "Development Partnerships", which can be either geographic (i.e. based on a local authority area comprising public bodies, private companies and employers, trade unions, training centers or universities, N.G.O.s, etc.) or sectoral, where partnerships operate within specific sectors.

A large degree of flexibility is left for the Member States to decide on priorities for their own programmes. However, a number of "themes" have seen suggested, based on the European Commission's European Employment Guidelines:

Improving employability - facilitating entry into the labour market.
Entrepreneurship - facilitating the business and enterprise spirit.
Adaptability - creating an adaptable workforce with relevant skills.
Equal Opportunities - reconciling work and family life.
The Initiative comprises three Strands:

Strand A
Tackling discrimination and inequalities linked to the labour market. Projects run under this strand must reflect the priorities agreed by the Commission and Member States under the European Employment Strategy. These are carried out by public and private partners and associations through transnational co-operation.

Strand B
Networking projects at national level to enable information exchanges and the dissemination of best practice.

Strand C
Joint work by the Commission and Member States to learn the lessons of good practice and take into account in policy development the priorities to be implemented through the EQUAL initiative.

EQUAL will invest €47 million in Ireland in the period 2000-2006. The European Social Fund (E.S.F.) contribution will be €33.9million. This investment aims to improve access to employment and training opportunities for people who are unemployed or employed but low skilled and therefore vulnerable to unemployment.

EQUAL IDEAS BANK
www.ideasbank-equal.info
The Ideas Bank is a webased innovation centre containing products developed by Irish Round I EQUAL projects. The products are categorised in terms of a number of policy themes, these include:  Equality and Diversity (In the Workplace) and (In Service Provision), Migrant Workers,Work Life Balance, Entrepreneurship and Life Long Learning.

For further Information please visit the EQUAL website: www.equal-ci.ie

EQUAL Community Initiative is funded by the European Social Fund.

EQUAL Community Initiative Programme 2000-2006 pdf (720KB)

For further information please contact:
Managing Authority, EQUAL,
Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment,
Davitt House,
65a Adelaide Road,
Dublin 2.
Tel: +353 (0)1 631 2121
Fax: +353 (0)1 888 2888
Lo-Call: 1890 20 20 21
Email: info@entemp.ie
Web: www.equal-ci.ie

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URBAN

The URBAN Community Initiative was developed to address a range of problems associated with social and economic exclusion within deprived inner-city and urban areas. Funding under this Community Initiative is based on urban regeneration strategies drawn up by the Local Authority, in association with a local partnership including Social Partners, N.G.O.s, residents groups and others.

Possible measures under URBAN include the reclamation of derelict sites and restoration of public spaces,training in new technologies, the creation of car-free areas, and studies on improving public services.

Ballyfermot in Dublin is the selected Irish area to receive funding under this Initiative during the 2000-2006 programming period. URBAN has a total budget of €11.4 million and has been allocated €5.3 million by the European Regional Development Fund (E.R.D.F.).

URBAN II Ireland - Ballyfermot Community Initiative Programme 2000-2006

E.U. URBAN II Initiative in Ireland 2000-2006 Programme Complement

For further information please contact:
Managing Authority,
URBAN Ballyfermot,
Community Civic Centre,
Ballyfermot Road,
Dublin 10.
Tel: +353 (0)1 6207150
Fax: +353 (0)1 6215974
Lo-Call: 1890 20 20 21
Email: info@urbanbl.ie

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