Whereas in Germany, the designation of the eastern Lander as an area for Objective One funding did not alter the nature of German regional policy, the same could not be said for the Republic of Ireland. Until 2000 and the reform of EU Structural Funds administration, the entire island of Ireland was regarded as a single region under Objective One funding criteria. In attempting to meet the 1988 revised Structural Funding guidelines, the Irish government was obliged to revise its approach to regional development and give greater voice to local and regional development actors. At the same time, it was widely felt that the operation of development policy at sub-national level was ripe for review and as a result, EU Structural Fund reforms became a vehicle by which new and alternative development initiatives were able to achieve greater recognition. This, combined with the evolution of new government approaches towards national policy making and development programming (discussed in Chapter 3), cemented a change of attitude in Ireland towards regional policy formulation and implementation (Adshead and Quinn, 1998). The development of Irish regions has become a more inclusive process, involving partnerships between statutory and voluntary bodies, state agencies and private interests, local activists and local representatives. As a consequence, the design and direction of development now places a greater emphasis on negotiation, partnership and subsidiarity. It marks a shift from what was an exclusive, top-down and economicallyoriented notion of regional development, to one that is more inclusive, organized from the bottom-up, and stresses the importance of human, rather than solely economic needs.