The regionalisation arrangements negotiated by the Irish authorities in 1999 in the context of the Agenda 2000 Agreement, saw the designation of the country into two NUTS II regions for EU Cohesion Policy purposes. These new regions, which were established in 19992, are:
(a) the Border, Midland and Western (BMW) Region which qualified for Objective 1 status for Structural Funds for the full period to 2006; and
(b) the Southern and Eastern (S&E) Region which qualified for a six-year phasing-out regime for Objective 1 status up to the end of 2005, and for part of the region to 2006.
The next round of EU Structural and Cohesion funding will cover the period 2007-2013. Under article 6 of the General Regulation (EC) 1083/20063, regions not covered by the Convergence Objective will be eligible for assistance under the Competitiveness and Employment Objective. This will include the BMW NUTS II region which will qualify as a phasing-in under the transitional arrangements as a previous Objective 1 region which now has a per capita GDP above 75% of the EU25 average. It is expected that the BMW Region will receive c. €458m in total structural funding over the period, of which 50% (c. €229m) will be from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).