The Regional Assemblies and the Eastern and Midland Region

The Eastern and Midland Regional Assembly (EMRA) is part of regional governance in Ireland, established under local government reform in January 2015. Our Regional Assembly covers the administrative areas of twelve local authorities– Longford, Westmeath, Offaly, Laois, Louth, Meath, Kildare, Wicklow, Fingal, South Dublin and Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Councils and Dublin City Council. There are also sub-regional planning functions through three Strategic Planning Areas (SPA) namely the Midland, Eastern and Dublin SPAs.

Sub regional profiles were prepared for each of the 3 Strategic Planning Areas (SPAs), see here:
Dublin SPA Profile                                 Eastern SPA Profile                                     Midland SPA Profile

Spatial Planning Hierarchy in Ireland

The 38 elected members of the Regional Assembly are predominantly nominated by their local authorities to represent the region.  One of their key tasks is to prepare a new Regional Spatial and Economic Strategy (RSES) to replace the existing Regional Planning Guidelines (RPGs) with additional functions requiring an economic strategy to be combined with the spatial strategy.

The RSES will support the implementation of national government policies such as the emerging National Planning Framework (NPF) and will also set the framework for local economic development and spatial planning in each of the 12 local authorities in the region.

The process for making the new Regional Spatial and Economic Strategy has now begun with the publication of the Issues Paper to inform the initial consultation period.

Read more about RSES


Prior to the establishment of the Eastern and Midland Regional Assembly on 1st January 2015, the three previous Regional Authorities within Eastern and Midland Region produced individual Regional Planning Guidelines (RPG’s).

These planning guidelines set out a strategic planning framework for their respective three areas and will remain in force until at least 2016.

The implementation of the RPGs are an integral part of the Government’s programme to enable Ireland’s planning system to play an important role in the national economic recovery by delivering a plan-led planning system where spatial plans are aligned to benefit the economy, environment and provide for an improved quality of life.

This process has sought to prioritise future infrastructural investment at a regional and local level, whilst promoting the growth of designated settlements.

It is proposed that the (RPG’s) will be replaced by a Regional Spatial & Economic Strategy for the region.

The objective of regional spatial and economic strategies shall be to support the implementation of the National Spatial Strategy and the economic policies and objectives of the Government by providing a long-term strategic planning and economic framework for the development of the region for which the strategies are prepared which shall be consistent with the National Spatial Strategy and the economic policies or objectives of the Government.”  (sec23 Planning and Development Act 2000)

The Eastern and Midland Regional Assembly, has twelve constituent local authorities split into three Strategic Planning Areas (see map) as follows –

Dublin Fingal, Dublin City, South Dublin, Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown
Eastern Louth, Kildare, Meath, Wicklow
Midlands Longford, Laois, Offaly, Westmeath

Note: Louth is located in the Border NUTS III area but is now moving to the Eastern and Midland assembly region from the former BMW region.




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