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



✅ #EPlenary just approved the Common Provisions Regulation Report on future investment in EU regions (460 in favour, 170 against, 47 abstentions)

➡️ Gave @EP_Regional mandate to start negotiations with the Council

Press release to follow shortly
#CPR #MFF #cohesionpolicy

EU cohesion policy 2021-2027: European Parliament adopted today its report on the Common Provisions Regulation summary by @EP_ThinkTank @EP_Regional @EUinmyRegion @EU_CoR

Out of the 175 applications received to #UIACall4, 32% focused on #NBS #sustainable use of land, & 30% of all German applications were on #urbansecurity. 53% of applicants are cities between 50k and 250k inhabitants. See more trends in our latest article!

🎉🎉🎉#CohesionAlliance has now 10 000 supporters! The community wants a stronger #cohesionpolicy in the next #EUBudget, ahead of @Europarl_EN voting on the topic this week!

❗️@INTERREG_NWE Call 9 is now open for project proposals under priority 1 and 3. Closing date - 14th June. More info on topics and guidelines below 🔽 @EMRAssembly @SouthernAssembl @NWAssembly

Have your say on #EnergyTransition and participate to the #PublicFeedback launched by @EUUrbanAgenda

The @southernassembl will hold 3 information days on the draft Regional Spatial & Economic Strategy during February #rses #projectireland2040

Good discussion with @NWAssembly this afternoon on regional development and how to ensure EU initiatives can benefit communities around Ireland. #EUinmyregion


How can towns & villages drive rural revival in EU? What is the future of EU programmes for rural areas? How to create job opps & develop a smart regional strategy?

Great event by @EA_CoR @EU_CoR @NWAssembly in @leitrimcoco on 11/02

Interreg North-West Europe ninth call for project proposals is now open until 14 June 2019 for step 1 applications. This call will be open to applications under Priority 1 and Priority 3 only. Further information is available on @INTERREG_NWE

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