Following a two-day visit to European funded projects in Wales, MEPs returned to Brussels full of praise for Wales' handling of EU funds.
The group visited projects and discussed with the Welsh Government the current programme and proposals for the future.
Head of the delegation and lead negotiator on the future of cohesion funding, German MEP, CONSTANZE KREHL, said
"I was really impressed with what I saw. The system in place to distribute EU funds in Wales clearly produces results and the £1.7bn spent in Wales since 2007 is making a difference to communities, businesses and individuals. Wales' use of EU funds to boost the local area and create jobs at this difficult economic time is an excellent example to other EU regions.
It is also great to see that Wales is fully engaged with EU institutions while the discussions on the future of EU funding are going on. It is important that this hard work is not jeopardised by the actions of the UK Government who want to make cuts to structural funding."
Welsh Labour MEP, DEREK VAUGHAN, said:
"I was proud to show my colleagues how we do things here in Wales. The projects we visited and the people we spoke to illustrated that the system we have in Wales has successfully distributed EU funds that make a difference.
With more money coming our way after 2013, we now need to build on our previous experiences and continue to use EU funding to help communities, create jobs and boost the Welsh economy. The focus for me now, as I head back to Brussels, is to continue to work hard to ensure that Wales gets the best possible result from the negotiations on future EU programmes."
- The Regional Development Committee in the European Parliament is responsible for negotiating the next round of structural funds and is calling for more involvement for regions as well as more flexibility and simplification, in line with the aims of the Welsh Government.
- The visit took place on Monday, 24 and Tuesday, 25 September with the itinerary including visits to Nantgarw (Coleg Morgannwg Campus), Port Talbot (Low Carbon Research Institute, Baglan Energy Park), and Swansea (SA1 and the National Waterfront Museum). The delegation also visited the Senedd in Cardiff Bay and held meetings with the Welsh European Funding Office, Welsh Local Government Association and the Welsh Government.