Written Answers. - EU Structural Policies.

Thursday, 12 December 1996

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 472 No. 8

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  18.  Mr. Cullen  Information on Martin Cullen  Zoom on Martin Cullen   asked the Minister for Finance  Information on Ruairí Quinn  Zoom on Ruairí Quinn   if he will summarise his views on the future of structural policies in an enlarged EU, in view of the address made to a conference on Europe of the Regions. [20331/96]

Minister for Finance (Mr. Quinn): Information on Ruairí Quinn  Zoom on Ruairí Quinn  The Government considers the development and strengthening of the European Union's cohesion policies to be an integral part of the process of furthering European integration. It also considers that enlargement must take place within the context of the deepening of European integration and the maintenance of the Union's key policies [1711] including economic and social cohesion which is firmly established in the Treaty on European Union. The enlargement of the Union to include in particular the countries of Central and Eastern Europe, which will bring many benefits in terms of both stability and economic opportunities, should not undermine the application of cohesion policies to existing member states. The conclusions of the Essen European Council in December 1994 that “the Union's capacity to absorb new members, while maintaining the momentum of European integration and respecting its internal cohesion and fundamental principles' is also an important consideration” should continue to underpin all further discussion of enlargement. In this context, the Government will seek to ensure that the EU budgetary resources are adequate for the needs of enlargement. The Government will also aim to ensure that the costs of enlargement are borne in an equitable manner between the Union's developed and less-developed regions and in a manner which does not prejudice the operation of the Union's existing policies, including cohesion.

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