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Yorkshire And Humberside (European Community Aid)

Volume 15: debated on Wednesday 16 December 1981

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asked the Secretary of State for Industry (1) if he will make a statement on the effect of the Commission's proposals for the allocating of European regional development funds upon the Yorkshire and Humberside region;(2) whether he will initiate discussions with the local authority representatives of Yorkshire and Humberside on the Commission's proposals for the allocation of European regional development funds.

The European Commission has proposed to the Council new criteria for the distribution of the quota section of the European regional development fund, which is at present shared between all member States. These new criteria, based on considerations of regional GDP and long-term unemployment, would exclude six mainland member States altogether, so that the fund would be shared principally between regions in the United Kingdom, Greece, the Republic of Ireland and Italy. However, the same criteria would have the effect of excluding the South-West, East Midlands and Yorkshire and Humberside regions of the United Kingdom, which is naturally less welcome. We shall be exploring the justification for this during the discussions on the Commission's proposal, which is subject to the agreement of the Council. All the regions named would, of course, continue to be eligible for aid under the non-quota section of the fund, which the Commission proposes should be enlarged.The Government are keeping closely in touch with the local authority associations, and I see no need for individual discussions with particular local authorities at this stage.