Page last updated at 16:37 GMT, Wednesday, 14 November 2012

OFMDFM Committee

A Sinn Fein MEP said Northern Ireland was not benefiting as much as it could from membership of the European Union, on 14 November 2012.

Martina Anderson and fellow MEP Diane Dodds of the DUP were briefing the OFMDFM Committee on EU matters.

"We are not going after the opportunities that are there," Ms Anderson said.

The MEP observed that the Dublin government had been successful in securing EU funding for research and development not because the Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, behaved like "the Playboy of Europe" but because its departments had applied themselves to the process.

UUP leader and committee chairman Mike Nesbitt wanted to know how much people in Northern Ireland paid into the EU per head and how much they got out of it.

Diane Dodds said that for every £1.58 people in the UK paid in they got £1 back in structural funds.

"The UK continues to be a net contributor," she said.

Ms Anderson said that £375m went directly to farmers and £60m to rural development.

Mike Nesbitt asked for approval from members for sending out email Christmas cards from the committee.

Paul Givan of the DUP expressed disapproval of email Christmas cards in general.

"I think it's a nonsense. I would rather not get one," he said.

OFMDFM committee membership


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