PEACE Trip to EU Parliament in Brussels
December 7, 2017
Representatives of the Lisburn & Castlereagh Local PEACE Partnership Programme were invited by the Special EU Programmes Body (SEUPB) to attend an EU Showcase Exhibition and evening reception at the EU Parliament in Brussels.
PEACE Programme Manager, Niamh O’Carolan attended with Gay Sherry-Bingham from Atlas Women’s Centre, Lisburn.
SEUPB organised the event to bring EU funded INTERREG and PEACE programmes together and relay the impact EU funding has made and is making to Northern Ireland and the Border region.
Councillor Jonathan Craig, Chairman of the Lisburn & Castlereagh PEACE IV Partnership, commented: “It was at the launch of our local partnership that SEUPB heard about the great work undertaken by Atlas Women’s Centre and led to this invitation to Brussels. It is a credit to the Council and the Lisburn Castlereagh area that one of our community based projects was identified by SEUPB as exemplar within the European Union.”
At the evening reception, Niamh and Gay had the opportunity to talk about local PEACE projects including the Women’s Project from Peace III, the difference it made and how it will be developed for the Peace IV programme.
Speaking about the project Niamh said: “Atlas Women’s Centre, based in Lisburn, was one of five women’s groups that came together to deliver the ‘Peace to Talk Project’ under Peace III. This project was a women’s cross council initiative aimed at improving the confidence of women and families to engage in peace building work on a cross community and familial basis. Its outcomes included motivation to continue lifelong learning, attitudinal change, partnership and cross community working, increased confidence and self-esteem.”
Councillor Craig added: “I am delighted the Peace IV Action Plan will deliver a similar Women’s project with three larger established women’s groups and three smaller women’s groups, reflecting the new Lisburn & Castlereagh Council area. Through education, excursions and events this new programme will promote acceptance and tolerance of diversity, challenge attitudes to sectarianism and racism, empower women and their families, run activities on a cross community and cross border basis.”
Alderman James Tinsley, Chairman of the Council’s Leisure & Community Development Committee, said: “To have local MEPs take time out to meet with Niamh and Gay and hear all about this local successful project is great promotion for our council area. They talked to our delegation and found out first-hand the difference that such much needed funding makes locally and beyond.”
Both the exhibition and the reception proved to be a huge success and received very positive feedback from Commissioner Corina Creţu, along with the Irish Permanent Representative to the EU Ambassador Declan Kelleher, and the UK Deputy Permanent Representative to the EU, Katrina Williams.
The Lisburn & Castlereagh PEACE IV Action Plan has been supported by the EU’s PEACE IV Programme, managed by the Special EU Programmes Body (SEUPB). It is currently being rolled out and will continue until September 2019.