Thursday, 13 April 1972
Dáil Eireann Debate
I should like, however, with the permission of the Ceann Comhairle, to avail of this opportunity to give the House a brief outline of the position in regard to assistance from the European Social Fund.
It is up to each country to make its own applications for assistance from  the fund. The fund is, of course, a continuing institution and applications are made according as schemes or projects which are eligible for assistance from it arise.
Ireland will be eligible to benefit from the fund as from the date of accession. My Department is keeping in close touch with the Commission so as to be fully informed of the relevant procedures which are still evolving. In this way I hope to ensure that our first application will be ready for submission to the EEC Commission immediately on accession.
Mr. J. Brennan: Usually there is a deadline for member states. For instance, existing members applying this year must have their applications in by 1st June. I take it there is a time in which these applications are all processed and examined. I should not say that sending the application in earlier would mean any earlier examination. Surely the Deputy does not expect we shall be paid on 1st January?
Mr. Bruton: Is it not a fact that we shall be members from 1st January and surely any schemes operating then would be eligible for the EEC fund as from 1st January? Would the Minister not tell me when he proposes to submit schemes for examination so that payment can commence from EEC from 1st January?
Mr. J. Brennan: I do not know whether the Commission would process applications by a country that is not yet a ratified member. I told the Deputy in my reply that our application would be ready for submission by 1st January.
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