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Ec Regional Policy

Volume 202: debated on Thursday 23 January 1992

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To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, further to his answer of 16 January, Official Report, column 615, which of the objective 1 regions of the European Community regional policy will not benefit from the cohesion funds agreed at the Maastricht summt; whether Her Majesty's Government requested the inclusion of Northern Ireland as a beneficiary of the cohesion fund; and if he will make a statement.

The following objective I regions will not benefit from the cohesion fund: the French overseas departments, Corsica, Abruzzi, Basilicata, Calabria, Campania, Molise, Apulia, Sardinia, Sicily and Northern Ireland.The cohesion fund benefits member states not regions, with a per capita GNP of less than 90 per cent. of the Community average. Northern Ireland is not a Community member state and so cannot qualify in its own right. The United Kingdom's per capita GNP is too high for it to qualify. Northern Ireland's objective 1 status is not affected by the cohesion fund. It will continue to benefit substantially from the three principal structural funds.