Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2015-02-25-Speech-3-278-000"

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"Mr President, I welcome the opportunity to relay the very genuine and heartfelt concerns expressed by applicants to the European Social Fund in my constituency in Northern Ireland. I have been contacted by a range of organisations from the voluntary community in women’s sectors who believe that they have been subject to inconsistent and non-transparent treatment by the Managing Authority. At the first stage of application there has been a 60% failure rate. Last week I was contacted by 12 of the groups in this bracket. Already over 200 people have been put on protective redundancy notice, and there is a risk to 7 000 training places. These are groups that have a proven track record in providing critical skills to disengaged and disadvantaged sections of our society. Today I met with officials from the Cabinet of Commissioner Marianne Thyssen to bring this matter to her attention. I have asked her to investigate the handling of the Northern Ireland process within the context of Article 125 sub-section 3a of the Common Provisions Regulation, which states that selection of projects must be non-discriminatory and transparent. I am also calling on the Commission to ensure that 20% of ESF funding in Northern Ireland is targeted at the eradication of poverty and the promotion of social inclusion."@en1

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