‘It is vitally important that the recent proposal put forward by the Futures Academy, at Dublin Institute of Technology on scrapping the Spatial Strategy be immediately stopped in its tracks,’ said MEP Marian Harkin this week. ‘The proposal runs counter to the objective of ‘balanced regional development’ and makes the case for a greater concentration of resources along the East coast.’ Responding to the report, Ms. Harkin said, ‘I find this proposal totally at odds with thinking in the European Parliament. The Fourth Cohesion Report produced by the European Commission has as its title ‘Growing Regions Growing Europe’. The title in itself clearly illustrates the thinking at EU level. ‘This proposal totally ignores the evidence, compiled by the Western Development Commission which highlights the fact that over 41 percent of people living in the East would like to move West. What this ‘Think Tank’ should be proposing is the building up of the infrastructure in the West alongside the provision of adequate services both economic and social so that those who want to remain in the West and those who wish to move West can have the opportunity to do so,’ concluded Marian Harkin MEP.