The Metropolitan Mayor of Waterford Cllr. Séamus Ryan attended Central Library last Monday (20 December) to officially launch Waterford as the location for one of seven new generation EUROPE DIRECT Centres. To mark this occasion Europe Direct Waterford joined forces with the Southern Regional Assembly to create and present the EU in my Region exhibition which is lit up in the eleven windows of Central Library.
The EU in my Region exhibition details the stories of 10 EU projects in the region, giving a snapshot of the type of work that both Europe Direct Waterford and the Southern Regional Assembly are involved in. Stories include a Citizen’s Dialogue on Social Enterprise in Dunhill, Waterford’s first Global Women’s conference, a Christmas decoration exchange between primary schools through the EU, the building of the Applemarket and the Celtic routes tourism project.
The exhibition is illuminated in the windows of Central Library, Lady Lane, so can be viewed up to 11pm each evening by passersby.
The Metropolitan Mayor, Cllr. Séamus Ryan congratulated Waterford Libraries on being chosen once again as a location for a Europe Direct Centre and on the innovation exhibition adding “The new centres will promote active European citizenship in schools and coordinate with other EU networks in the regions, ensuring easier local access to information for citizens, organisations and businesses. It is great to see the breath of events and projects that the EU supports in our region.”
Cathaoirleach of the Southern Regional Assembly, Cllr. Pip Breen said: “The EU spends approximately one fifth of its total budget on regional development projects. Many initiatives across the south and east of Ireland have reaped the benefits of the ERDF in recent years, including infrastructure projects linked to research and innovation, telecommunications, the environment, energy, and transport projects. We have worked with Europe Direct Waterford on several occasions to tell the stories of EU funding benefits as we both have roles in European affairs in the region.”
Europe Direct Waterford manager Sinead O’Higgins said “Here at Waterford Libraries we were delighted to receive news earlier this year that we had been selected to continue as a Europe Direct Centre as part of the new Generation EUROPE DIRECT. The new Europe Direct network will continue to provide timely and factual information on European matters, but will also seek to engage with citizens regarding the state and future of the European Union. Europe Direct centres play a key role facilitating people’s easy communication with the European institutions and help citizens have a powerful voice in the ongoing EU-wide conversation on the future of Europe. This exhibition celebrates our work and invites member of the public to come in and visit us we are open five days a week in Central Library and you can find out more about our work @eurdirect on facebook and twitter.
The Seven new generation EUROPE DIRECT centres started their work in 2021 after the European Commission announced the revamping of its network of information and communication points
around Europe. These centres will bring the European Union, its policies and values to Ballinasloe, Blanchardstown, Clones, Letterkenny, Portlaoise, Sligo and Waterford. They are part of a community of 424 Europe Direct centres around Europe whose purpose is to reinforce the important connection between EU institutions and citizens. Europe Direct Waterford is run from Central Library in Waterford City.
Based on O’Connell in Waterford, the Southern Regional Assembly supports the Southern Region of Ireland by implementing the Regional Spatial & Economic Strategy and managing the ERDF Southern & Eastern Regional Programme. The ERDF S&E Regional Programme co-funds activities related to research, innovation, SME supports, energy efficiency, pandemic health supports, and sustainable urban development. They aim to forge links between local, regional, national, and European policies and strategies to support balanced regional development in Ireland. Find out more about their work at www.southernassembly.ie
The EU in my Region can be viewed in the windows of Central Library until February 2022. It is lit up at night.