EPRS Admin By / May 7, 2020

EU funding for Northern Ireland 2014-2020

EU funding for Northern Ireland, 2014-2020: main programmes

EU funding for Northern Ireland, 2014-2020: main programmes

For 2014-2020, Northern Ireland was allocated €3 533 million from EU Structural Funds and the common agricultural policy (CAP). As of February 2020, a further €82 million had been paid out for scientific research from Horizon 2020. Altogether, EU funding for the region is estimated at around £600 million (€710 million) a year. With the Northern Irish economy valued at £44 billion in 2016, this represents around 1.4 % of the region’s GDP. Under the EU-UK Withdrawal Agreement, the UK has committed to completing projects supported by EU programmes for 2014-2020. This means that Brexit will not affect EU projects agreed by the end of 2020.
However, no such guarantees exist for the post-2020 period. Inevitably, UK funding will fill some of the gap left by the end of EU programmes, but it is not yet known whether the level of funding will be the same.
The Northern Irish economy is heavily dependent on the public sector (which accounts for 27 % of jobs, compared to the UK average of 21 %). Therefore, any loss of funding resulting from Brexit would probably have a serious economic impact. Some sectors are particularly vulnerable, including agriculture, where farmers currently get 87 % of their total income from EU CAP payments.

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