LOCAL authorities in Louth and Down have agreed to share services across the border and deliver greater benefits with the aid of Europen funding.
This is the first link of its kind between two European jurisdictions.
Louth Local Authorities and Newry and Mourne District Council will sign a Memorandum of Understanding which will commit the authorities to strengthen and promote the social, cultural and economic links within their combined local authority districts.
At a special event in Brussels on Monday hosted by the Northern Ireland office both authorities presented the Memorandum of Understanding to an influential audience of EU officials and members of the European Parliament.
The event was an opportunity for the councils to detail how local authorities in the region have successfully co-operated over many years to bring about real change for the citizens they serve, and they will present a number of exciting new proposals to EU Officials.
By signing up to the agreement, the local authorities, which include Louth Local Authorities incorporating Dundalk, Ardee and Drogheda town councils and Newry and Mourne District Council, will agree to strengthening existing co-operation and further development of activities under a number of themes including; emergency planning, renewable energy and green technology, tourism and recreation, sustainable economic growth and job creation.
Furthermore the authorities will commit to develop joint policies and actions in areas of mutual interest to increase efficiency and delivery of services and will work together towards improving cross-border co-operation. The alliance will be driven by a joint committee of elected members from the region, supported by a joint senior management team comprising of the chief executive, county manager, and the directors of the participating authorities.
An advisory forum will also be created which will incorporate representatives from local industry, commerce, and the voluntary sector throughout the region.
Chairman of Louth County Council, Cllr Peter Savage, welcomed this new initiative.
“The memorandum of understanding will deepen the commitment of our authorities to continue co-operating, but will also establish new precedents which other regions can follow”.
Following the event in Brussels, the formal signing of the Memorandum of Understanding will be completed on 31 March at the Ballymascanlon Hotel, Dundalk.
Chairman of Louth County Council Peter Savage welcomed the historic move.