Welsh Labour MEP, DEREK VAUGHAN, will play a key role at the heart of discussions on the future of EU Structural Funding after being appointed lead negotiator for the European Parliament on budget levels for Cohesion Policy post-2013.
Derek has also secured an initiative report – similar to a Private Members Bill – looking at how to maximise the impact that Structural Funds have on communities facing challenges in tough economic times.
Speaking from Brussels, Derek said:
"Structural funds are vital in supporting areas like West Wales and the Valleys which continue to face long-term challenges in tackling deprivation and economic and social inequalities.
With talks ongoing about the future direction of EU regional policy for the period 2014-2020, there is a huge responsibility to ensure that funding is carefully targeted at creating more sustainable jobs and growth."
As the only Welsh MEP to sit on the Budgets Committee, he added:
"The current round of structural funding has already helped nearly 29,000 people into work in Wales and over 6,000 Welsh businesses to expand.
Since I was elected two years ago, I made it a priority to put the case for Wales when it comes to securing structural funding. I will continue to safeguard the billions of pounds worth of investment that they bring to Wales.
In my new role I look forward to leading for Labour and the European Parliament on this – and as importantly, leading for Wales."