Welsh Labour MEP, Derek Vaughan, has issued a call for concerted action to ensure that Wales does not lose out when it comes to receiving EU funding post-2013 when rules of how the money is allocated are due to be changed.
Mr Vaughan spoke following the release of two reports by the Welsh Assembly today – one by its European & External Affairs Committee and the other by its Enterprise & Learning Committee – which outlined the challenges ahead for Wales in making the most of EU funding and in ensuring that support continues after 2013.
DEREK VAUGHAN MEP said:
"Both reports give a thorough and detailed assessment of what needs to be done to ensure that Wales gets maximum value from the current investment programmes and how we can develop our arguments for further money and transitional funding in the coming years.
I have long held the view, included within the reports, that repatriating the responsibility for regional development funding back to a UK wide context would leave Wales at a distinct disadvantage next time round. We certainly can’t rely on the Con Dem coalition to provide regional funding for Wales in the future. Full consideration needs to be given to the special situation that exists in Wales and the best and fairest way to do that is on an EU wide level.
The Assembly is right to recommend that we should take a Team Wales approach to ensure that our voice is heard within the EU on these issues but we must also seek to build a consensus with MEPs in other European regions who will be similarly affected post-2013 to amplify our concerns even louder.
I have recently formed a campaign group in the European Parliament, which has attracted the attention of MEPs from right across the EU, and I am hopeful that it will play a vital role in keeping the pressure up for a solution to be found that would be in the best interests of the people of Wales."