Liberal Democrat MEPs lobby for fair distribution of EU funding

Lib Dem MEPs have welcomed the Coalition Government’s commitment to ensure that cuts to European funding from 2014 onwards will be shared in a fair manner across the UK.

The Coalition Government has announced that England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland will be subjected to an equal percentage cut of around 5% compared to the current 2007-2017 EU funding levels.

MEPs and national governments are currently negotiating the next long-term EU budget for 2014-2020. Although a final deal has yet to be reached, the EU’s budget is expected to be cut in real-terms for the first time in its history.

The leader of the Liberal Democrat delegation in the European Parliament, North East MEP Fiona Hall, said:

Lib Dem MEPs are lobbying our business and treasury ministers to ensure that the UK will put in place a fair system of allocating future EU regional funding across the UK, and also across England’s regions. We must use EU funds effectively to help close the economic north-south divide.

South East Lib Dem MEP, Catherine Bearder, the party’s European regional spokesperson, commented:

I asked the EU’s Regional Policy Commissioner Johannes Hahn to ensure that Member States are given the flexibility to spend regional EU funds in less developed and sparsely populated regions to help create jobs and stimulate sustainable growth.

Lib Dem MEP for Yorkshire & The Humber, Edward McMillan-Scott, a Vice-President of the European Parliament, added:

It is vital that northern regions like my own are not disproportionately affected in an EU funding settlement over those regions closer to the M25. Countless examples exist in Yorkshire of the beneficial impact vital EU funding has in creating jobs and supporting research. Competition for this funding is always fierce between the UK’s regions but this is about making sure that northern regions get their fair slice of EU funding going forward.

The estimated total allocation of EU regional funding for England is €6.174 billion for the period between 2014 and 2020. A breakdown of estimated allocations across Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) areas is expected to be announced shortly.

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This entry was posted in Europe / International and News.
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22 Comments

  • Helen Dudden 28th Mar '13 - 10:11am

    What ever happens there are some members, who are clearly suffering a great deal.

    I must admit, when I visit one of those countries I find the situation very disturbing.

  • Simon McGrath 28th Mar '13 - 12:24pm

    This is all very well but misses the point. Why do we send money to Brussels for them to send some of it back to us. Why should we have to ask the Commisisoner for flexibility, why not keep the money here and decide for ourselves.

    I am notasuggsting we should not be giving money to other regions but that is a different. As believers in devolution of power why can these decsions not be kept in the UK ?

  • @Simon – because the EU isn’t just the UK and the UK has agreed to collective decision making (and funding) at EU level. That is part of being a member just as is other member states agreeing to allow UK firms to exports products and services tariff-free from the UK to their domestic markets and be sold there.

    If the UK doesn’t want to accept that membership comes with a “membership fee” then the other member states won’t extend the “membership benefits” to the UK.

  • Mark
    I don’t think wanting to leave the EU is a minority view. And if we had something resembling democracy, we could of course test it.

  • Richard Dean 28th Mar '13 - 9:58pm

    Is it really fair to have an equal percentage cut across all regions? What if one region has greater need than another?

  • andrew Colman 29th Mar '13 - 8:15am

    The UK should opt out of both CAP and CFP (Agriculture and fisheries policy). If we can opt out of the EURO and Schengen, why not CAP/CFP. I would much prefer be in the euro and/or in Schengen than in CAP/CFP and I suspect the majority in the UK will agree. Some in the EU will not like this but I do not bleleve twe will be forced out as the EU needs UK markets, we should call their bluff and announce a date when the UK will unilaterally withdraw from CAP and CFP.

  • I would be much more interested to hear the pro European case, from a pro European, whose career and pension did not, rely on its continuance.

  • Richard Dean 29th Mar '13 - 12:15pm

    The way forward is surely to remain in the EU, to work to reform from within by agreement with others, and to work towards joining the Euro ASAP. No other future seems realistic.

  • Richard Dean 29th Mar '13 - 3:02pm

    Currency “flexibility” is rather similar to “volatility” isn’t it? It means that the value of the currency is determined to a greater extent by market forces. It represents a reduction in a country’s control over what it is worth, and in that sense seems to represent a reduction in sovereignty.

    Devaluation is surely not a solution to anything? Isn’t it just a way of blaming foreigners or markets for a government’s own failures? Aren’t its effects in terms of austerity no better than the effects of being part of a larger currency block and having to adjust in other ways?

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