The Government has launched an informal consultation to seek views on how EU Structural Funds such as the European Regional Development Fund should be organised in the next round from 2014 to 2020.
The current ERDF programme for the North West finishes at the end of 2013 and is worth €755.5m. Other EU funds include Rural Development Funds and Fisheries Funds.
Structural funds recycle contributions from member states to try and reduce disparities that still exist between regions and improve employment opportunities.
The informal consultation was launched on Wednesday 28 March and will close on 27 April.
Businesses, local authorities, voluntary groups, non-government organisations, universities and local enterprise partnerships are being asked for their views on how the Government can more effectively exploit the funds to drive growth and create jobs.
The European Commission proposals for the next funding round are still subject to negotiation, but the Government says the changes proposed will allow greater flexibility to tailor the funds to the specific economic challenges faced in different areas. The Government wants to ensure there is maximum potential value of the EU money for taxpayers.
While the size of these funds is still being negotiated, in the current EU budget 2007-13 England receives approximately £8bn of funding.
Having taken into account the views of stakeholders from the informal consultation, the Government will launch a formal public consultation in 2013 on the proposed approach the UK will take in delivery of the funds.
The informal consultation covers England only. The Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish Administrations are making their own consultation arrangements. A copy of the informal consultation can be found here.
Responses to the informal consultation should be sent to: email@example.com
On 6 October 2011 the European Commission published draft regulations for Structural and Cohesion Funds. The regulations are currently being negotiated. These can be found at: http://ec.europa.eu/regional_policy/what/future/proposals_2014_2020_en.cfm
On 14 March 2012 the European Commission published its Working Paper on the Common Strategic Framework which set out how the following EU funds should work together:
- European Regional Development Funds
- European Social Funds
- Cohesion Funds (which the UK does not receive)
- European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD)
- European Maritime and Fisheries Funds (EMFF).
This paper can be found at: http://ec.europa.eu/regional_policy/newsroom/detail.cfm?LAN=EN&id=180&lang=en