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.


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

+32 (0) 2 2331122

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
Agata Kolodynska

Agata Kolodynska

EU Support Officer



#EELGAwards2019 applications are *now OPEN* & we're profiling last year's winners! For *Local Authority Innovation*, our 2018 winners were @corkcitycouncil pictured below🎉 This could be your Local Authority in 2019! For more info & to apply, click here👉

Applications for REGIOSTARS Awards are still open. This year's topics are #smart #sustainable and #inclusive growth, #urban development and modernising health services. Best of luck to all applying! @EMRAssembly @SouthernAssembl @NWAssembly @EUinmyRegion

Cllr Jerry Lundy and Dr Mike Brennan during #CoRplenary promoting the Bucharest Declaration for stronger regions #EUlocal #EUinmyregion #regions @EU_CoR

Are you a community group, NGO, educational body looking to communicate the work of the EU? 🇪🇺🇨🇮
For this year’s Communicating Europe Initiaitve @HMcEntee announced that €100,000 will be made available.

Follow the link to apply ➡️

Deadline 📆12 April

#Broadband Platform looking at future funding 2020+ for #digital infrastructure.@cllrmmurphytipp highlights potential of full deployment of #DigitalSingleMarket for citizens & questions if the 2021-2027 #CEF budget for transport,energy & digital puts enough emphasis on the latter

Cllr Eamon Dooley presenting his opinion on the European Research Area at #SEDEC @EU_CoR commission meeting earlier this afternoon. @offalycoco @EMRAssembly

After a great outcome for Irish local authorities of the first #WiFi4EU call, there is a chance for those that missed out! Second call launches on April 4th and will only be open for one day. More information available on the EC website @EMRAssembly @NWAssembly @SouthernAssembl

Guess what? 😀
#ERNACT network secures another €1.5 million for REGIONS 4.0 project! Read more about 'Regional policies adopting Industry 4.0 for their #DigitalTransformation': @interregeurope, we are on cloud 9!

Congrats @CIT_ie on approval by @interregeurope for FOUNDATION (Building Regional Resilience to Industrial Structural Change) project on economic ecosystems' proactive prep for and managed responses to deal with wider impacts of major job closures.
Building on @ecoris3project.

Congratulations to two Irish lead partners whose projects were conditionally approved by Interreg Europe Monitoring Committee!

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