Stormont departments are missing out on EU funds due to a dislike of filling in forms, the First Minister has said.
The often complex paperwork that has to be completed to access certain EU programmes is also dissuading universities and private sector businesses from engaging with Brussels, Peter Robinson told the Office of First Minister and Deputy First Minister (OFMDFM) committee.
The DUP leader said this attitude must be overcome if Northern Ireland is to make the most out of Europe.
“Are we getting as much as we can get out of Europe, the answer is quite clearly is no, we are not,” he said. “I believe we have underperformed in Europe”.
He added: “Departments have not made a number of submissions that they should have made and there seems to be a sense in Government departments, and I'll not be specific, but it's fairly clear with our discussion with a number of the commissioners ... that departments are faced with putting in submissions which can be a daunting task.”