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Welsh MEP urges Commissioner Hahn to ensure Wales gets £2.1bn

 

Labour MEP Derek Vaughan has urged European Regional Policy Commissioner, Johannes Hahn to approve the reallocation of EU spending in the UK so that Wales receives £2.1bn in structural funds between 2014-2020.

 

During his meeting with Mr Hahn, Mr Vaughan emphasised the importance of EU funding to Wales and pointed out that Wales is viewed as one of the best regions for accurate spending of EU money.

 

He said: “The Commissioner was very receptive to these proposals. He knows and understands that Wales consistently uses the funds well.

 

“We’ve worked very hard over the last few months to get these proposals past the UK Government, who had originally insisted on budget cuts in Wales.

 

“The initial proposals would have seen our budget cut by 22% which would have meant more than £400 less for Wales. That’s just not acceptable when West Wales and the Valleys remain one of the poorest parts of the entire European Union.


"It must also be taken into account that English regions are constantly facing problems and suspensions of some Structural Funds payments, whilst Wales has a strong reputation for effective spending.


"That's why I lobbied so hard for a better proposal. As a result of this lobbying we stand to be £130m better off if the Commission approves."


The meeting with Commissioner Hahn comes as Mr Vaughan acts as shadow rapporteur on a report about European Commission spending.

 

The report, which will be finalised in Spring, will highlight the importance of ensuring every penny of our money delivers results at a time when national budgets are being reduced across the EU.

 

It will also emphasise the need for effective procedures and regulations for European funding so that errors are reduced and money is spent properly.

 

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