1.8 Cross-border cooperation
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The PEACE programme is a European Union initiative designed to support peace and reconciliation in Northern Ireland and the border counties of Ireland.
The last programme, PEACE IV, ran from 2014-2020. The next programme, PEACE PLUS, is currently being finalized and is expected to run from 2021-2027. Further information is provided in Chapter 1.9 Current debates and reforms.
The eligible area for the PEACE IV Programme was Northern Ireland and the Border Counties of Ireland (including Cavan, Donegal, Leitrim, Louth, Monaghan, and Sligo). Programme funding was worth €270m. 85% of the Programme, €229m, was provided through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). 15%, was match-funded by the Irish Government and the Norther Irish Executive.
The content was agreed by the Northern Ireland Executive, the Irish Government, and the European Commission. The key objectives of the programme were:
- Share Education: to provide direct, sustained, curriculum-based contact between pupils and teachers from all backgrounds, through collaboration between schools from different sectors to promote good relations and enhance children’s skills and attitudes to contribute to a cohesive society.
- Children and Young People: to enhance the capacity of children and young people to form positive and effective relationships with others of a different background and make a positive contribution to building a cohesive society.
- Shared Spaces and Services: to create a more cohesive society through an increased provision of shared spaces and services.
- Building Positive Relations: to promote positive relations characterized by respect, where cultural diversity is celebrated and people can live, learn, and socialize together, free from prejudice, hate and intolerance.
One of the targets of the programme are young people aged between 14-24 years who are disadvantaged, excluded, or marginalized, have deep social and emotional needs and are at risk of becoming involved in anti-social behavior, violence, or dissident activity.
National Youth Council of Ireland
The National Youth Council of Ireland (NYCI) is a member of the European Youth Forum and works as part of this platform to influence the decisions of the European Union and the United Nations.
NYCI’s International Programme supports young people’s involvement in international activities, youth work and youth policy. The programme aims to:
- facilitate and promote the involvement of youth organisations and young people in international activities.
- encourage youth organisations to include an international dimension to their youth work, through creating opportunities for sharing of best practice in youth work and facilitating international collaboration.
- advocates and lobbies on International and European youth policy to ensure young people have an opportunity to add their voice to decisions that affect young people, their youth organisations, and their future.
UN Youth Delegate Programme
The UN Youth Delegate Programme supports the representation of young people from Ireland at the United Nations. The programme is sponsored by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in partnership with NYCI.
Each year, two UN Youth Delegates are chosen to form part of Ireland’s official delegation to the United Nations General Assembly. The aim of the initiative is to provide a platform for young people from Ireland to be represented at the United Nations, and to facilitate greater engagement with Irish youth on national and foreign policy issues.
Léargas manage international and national exchange programmes in education, youth and community work, and vocational education and training. These exchanges connect people in different communities and countries, and bring an international dimension to the work of organisations across Ireland. Léargas is the National Agency for Erasmus+ in Adult Education, School Education, Vocational Education and Training, and Youth.