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Regional Aid

Volume 888: debated on Wednesday 19 March 1975

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asked the Secretary of State for Industry what draft regulation or other instrument of the EEC gives the EEC Commission the power, to decide whether4 or not to approve a project for regional assistance applied for by Her Majesty's Government, stating what criteria apply, and whether any such decision would he subject to the Council of Ministers.

pursuant to the earlier reply [Official Report, 17th March 1975; Vol. 888, Cols. 286–7], gave the following information:There are three schemes under which the Governments of the member States have authorised, or are in the process of authorising, the Commission to decide whether individual projects for regional assistance meet criteria which the Governments have adopted in Community legislation. The criteria, or proposed criteria, are complex, and I am sending my hon. Friend the relevant documents dealing with the following schemes:

  • (i) the proposed Regional Development Fund (the draft Regulation has not yet been adopted);
  • (ii) the reconversion and readaptation assistance provided by the European Coal and Steel Community (Article 56 of the Treaty of Paris); and
  • (iii) assistance under European Social Fund 71/66 of 1st February Regulation No. 2396/71 1971).
  • As regards the Social Fund and the Regional Development Fund, the Comission is required to consult the Management Committees which are composed or expected to be composed largely of representatives of member Governments. The Council, if all Ministers agree, can reverse Commission decisions about assistance from the Regional Development Fund and keeps the operations of the Social Fund under periodic review. With ECSC reconversion assistance the Council approves all Commission proposals for aid to individual projects except where new jobs are provided for redundant coal and steel workers in their own industries.


    asked the Secretary of State for Industry what projects of regional aid already approved by Her Majesty's Government will not now qualify for assistance from the EEC Regional Fund under criteria so far proposed.

    pursuant to the earlier reply [Official Report, 17th March 1975; Vol. 888 Cols. 286–7], gave the following information:In the following circumstances projects receiving United Kingdom regional aid are not expected to qualify for assistance from the Funds:

  • (a) where the investment involved costs less than some £21,000;
  • (b) where fewer than 10 jobs are involved;
  • (c) where the project does not fall within the framework of a regional development programme or similar statement; and
  • (d) where no United Kingdom Government expenditure is incurred after 1st January 1975 (apart from payments of regional employment premium).
  • In addition projects can qualify for assistance only so long as the United Kingdom's annual share of the funds has not been exhausted.