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Allister heralds special provisions for Northern Ireland on EU Regional Aid

29 November 2005

DUP Member of the European Parliament Jim Allister QC has heralded confirmation he has received from the European Unionís Regional Commissioner that special provision is to be made for Northern Ireland regarding Regional Aid.

Jim Allister said, "As confirmed in a letter I have received from the Regional Commissioner, Neelie Kroes, the campaign which I have been leading to have special provision for Northern Ireland contained in the European Union's Regional Aid Guidelines, has been successful.

It was originally proposed that Northern Ireland should from 2007 lose the right to offer 40% regional aid, as a means of attracting inward investment, whereas parts of the Republic of Ireland was to continue to be able to offer such state aids.  I am pleased that the arguments presented on behalf of Northern Ireland have prevailed and that the Commission has altered its original proposed Guidelines to preserve a competitive position for NI.

Though the Commission warns that the capacity to offer such assistance will be on a declining scale down to zero in 2011, that is much better than the original end date of 31/12/06 and gives time to argue for a future extension.

These matters are critically important to Northern Ireland's investment battle and are vital to the work of Invest NI."


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Agriculture and Environment