20 October 2005 Edition

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De Brún welcomes community sector to Brussels

Sinn Féin MEP Bairbre de Brún last week hosted a delegation of community activists from across Ireland to the European Parliament. The delegation travelled to Brussels to lobby for a PEACE III programme for the period covering 2007-'13. As well as meeting with MEPs the group lobbied officials from the European Commission for continued assistance for community development throughout the Six Counties and the border region.

The general consensus amongst the campaigners was that continued financial support for peace building and reconciliation from the EU can positively impact upon the Peace Process, on cross community initiatives and the positive involvement of marginalised groups in policy-making in the time ahead.

Welcoming the group to the EU Parliament, de Brun said: "Sinn Féin has long called for a bottom-up approach to the design and delivery of a future PEACE III programme, and the need for greater input from the community sector so that the successes and the lessons learnt from the weaknesses of the PEACE I and PEACE II programmes can be built upon. It is essential that community-based organisations are fully involved in the design and implementation of the funding programmes."

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