The Irish Regions European Office (IREO) is a specialised support service which acts as a bridge between Irish local and regional government and the European Union, explaining and guiding its stakeholders through the Brussels scene and promoting Irish interests and best practices at the European level.

Who we are

The Irish Regions European Office is based in Brussels and represents the three Regional Assemblies and 31 local authorities of Ireland.

Operating as part of the Eastern and Midland Regional Assembly and with the support of the Department for Housing, Planning and Local Government, our focus is on bringing the EU closer to the wider local government sector and vice versa.

Location

Iris Regions European Office
5th Floor
Rue Froissart 50
B-1040 Bruxelles

+32 (0) 2 2331122

info@ireo.eu

What we do

IREO has four main functions by which it seeks to provide timely and relevant guidance and advisory services to stakeholders in order to inform and facilitate their individual and collective understanding of and engagement in European activities:

  • Policy – to monitor and report on relevant EU policy developments and enable input into the policy-making process where possible.
  • Committee of the Regions – to provide the secretariat to the Irish delegation to the Committee of the Regions and to work to enhance the strategic linkages between their activities and the priorities of Irish local and regional government.
  • Funding and financing – to highlight opportunities and assist with the development of quality involvement in EU funding programmes and initiatives.
  • Networking – to represent our stakeholders’ interests by identifying and engaging with decision-makers and by participating in collaborative value-added activity including relevant European networks, associations and partnerships.

Being based in Brussels gives us a practical advantage and enables us to:

  • Pinpoint contacts and identify relevant decision-makers.
  • Open doors and engage with key Institutional interlocutors in the European Commission, the European Parliament and Ireland’s Permanent Representation
  • Organise targeted study visits for our stakeholders
    Network and build alliance with other European local and regional authorities and European associations (CPMR, ERRIN…).
  • Represent our stakeholders’ interests at working/advisory groups, thematic and regional fora and project meetings.

Role of Regional Assemblies

Following on from the enactment of the Local Government Reform Act 2014, three new Regional Assemblies came into effect on 1st January 2015, namely the Southern Regional Assembly, the Eastern and Midland Regional Assembly and the Northern & Western Regional Assembly.

Both the Southern Assembly and the Northern and Western Regional Assembly are managing authorities for the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), managing respectively the Southern and Eastern Regional Operational Programme 2014-2020 and the Border, Midland and Western Regional Operational Programme 2014-2020. All three Regional Assemblies also provide national contact points for European Territorial Cooperation Programmes and participate on those programmes’ monitoring committees.

Other key duties of the assemblies are to:

  • Co-ordinate, promote and support strategic planning and sustainable development of the region
  • Prepare, adopt and implement the Regional Spatial and Economic Strategies (RSES).
  • Ensure consistency with RSES in relation to the Local Economic and Community Plans of the constituent Local Authorities.
  • Identify, participate in and co-ordinate certain EU projects.
  • Support the work of the National Oversight and Audit Commission.

Who we do this for

The three Regional Assemblies’ staff and elected representatives

The 31 Irish Local Authorities’ staff and elected representatives

 

The Irish delegation to the CoR

Meet the team

Sarah Holden

Sarah Holden

Head of the Irish Regions European Office
Ronan Gingles

Ronan Gingles

EU Affairs and Policy Advisor

Tweets

Interreg North West Europe @INTERREG_NWE Call 8 is still open for proposals! All three topics included - #innovation #lowcarbon #resource_efficiency. Closing date 22/11/2018.

Urban Innovative Actions #UIA launched its 4th Call for Proposals! The topics for this call are digital transition, sustainable use of land, urban poverty and urban security. Closing date 31/1/19. More information https://t.co/4v5KbYp5Io #UIACall4

Opening of #EUbudget conference by @GOettingerEU: the easiest years are behind us - let’s prepare the #FutureofEurope

Great to meet MEP @MarianHarkin today in Brussels promoting our region and @eer

Michael O'Brien, Programme executive, Northern and Western Regional Assembly, Ireland, explains that his region is in the third successful operational programme, with areas of focus being R&D, ICT, SME support, energy efficiency and urban regeneration. #eadebates

A busy week for Irish delegation to @EU_CoR as European Week of Regions and Cities focuses on proposals for post 2020 Cohesion Policy @EMRAssembly @SouthernAssembl @NWAssembly @cllrkmac

Great to meet @MaireadMcGMEP in Commission @FineGael telling the story of EU funds and @EER_Award @NWAssembly

2

Thanks to @NI_LGA and the East Border Region for a positive meeting on Brexit and shared concerns w/@NWAssembly &@@EMRAssembly . Thanks also to @BrusselsNI for hosting!

Great to have colleagues from @NWAssembly and @EMRAssembly in Brussels today for meetings w/@IrelandRepBru, @NI_LGA and East Border Region on Brexit preparations

Blue skies in Brussels today for the launch of #EURegionsWeek w/ @JunckerEU addressing the role of regions & cities & #CohesionPolicy in the future of Europe. Cites continuing challenges including populism

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