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.
Irish Regions European Office
Rue Froissart 50
+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.
The Northern and Western Regional Assembly and the Southern Assembly together with the Eastern and Midlands Regional Assembly are managing authorities for the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), managing the respective Regional Operational Programmes for 2021-2027. 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.