UK Government Redistributes EU Funds
According to the UK Department of Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), the UK is expecting to receive €9.6bn (£8.1bn) of European Union (EU) Structural Funding, to promote economic development of less wealthy regions, during the 2014 to 2020 Programme. This compares with €10.1bn (£8.5bn) under the current Programme which runs between 2007 and 2013.
A Common Strategic Framework
EU Funds (European Regional Development Fund, European Social Fund, European Cohesion Fund, European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development and European Maritime and Fisheries Fund) during the 2014 to 2020 Programme will be grouped under a Common Strategic Framework. There will be a Partnership Agreement between the European Commission and UK Government for implementation and management of the Funds. Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales will have their own SubProgrammes under the UK Programme.
Allocation of Funds within the UK
Final allocations will be subject to the ongoing negotiation of the 2014-20 EU budget with the European Parliament, BIS said, and the approval of the UK government’s proposals by the European Commission.
The Department said that, because of a new EU formula for allocating Structural Funds, agreed by the European Council in February 2013, “there would not have been a fair distribution across the UK, with each of the Devolved Administrations set to lose significant funding vital for economic growth”.
In a statement, the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills said:
“In view of this, the UK government has decided to re-allocate EU Structural Funds to minimise the impact of sudden and significant cutbacks in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.”
After the Reallocation
Following this reallocation, BIS (the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills) has calculated that England should get €6.2bn (£5.2bn), Scotland €795mn (£672mn), Wales €2.1bn (£1.8bn), and Northern Ireland €457mn (£386.5mn).
As a result, Northern Ireland would receive €181mn (£153mn) more than it would otherwise have done, Scotland €228mn (£192.8mn) more, while Wales would get a €375mn (£317mn) uplift. England, on the other hand, would lose out by €784mn (£663mn).
BIS said that each of the devolved administrations will consequently be subject to an equal EU structural funding cut of about 5% compared to 2007-13 levels. It added:
“The Government believes that this delivers the fairest deal for England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.”
In 2007-2013, according to BIS, England received €6,518mn (£5,512mn) in Structural Funds, Wales €2,264mn (£1,914mn), Scotland €839mn (£709.5mn) and Northern Ireland €482mn (£407mn).
BIS also said that England’s funding will be given out to the country’s 39 Local Enterprise Partnerships and their Local Authority partners, with the breakdown to “be announced shortly”.
BIS continued that Structural Funds, which includes European Regional Development Fund and European Social Fund, support projects “such as building skills for the unemployed, increasing the participation of women in science and engineering careers, and developing new healthcare technologies”.
Social Enterprise Highlights in new proposed EU Funds Programmes
Since it is based on Draft EU Regulations, this paper carries a “health warning”. Though there will be Programme for the whole of the UK, there will be SubProgrammes for Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales. Within these there may be one or two separate Operational Programmes for Scotland.
The purpose of this part of the paper is to begin focusing Social Enterprise intentions and objectives for the forthcoming EU Structural Funds Programme 2014-2020.
Key to this Section
Relevant ERDF Thematic Objectives and ESF Investment Priorities are shown in this colour.
Examples of Thematic Objectives and Investment Priorities relevant to Social Enterprises – to be assembled in Operational Programmes on a “pick and mix” basis – are shown in this colour.
Social Enterprises should work hard for involvement in relevant Operational Programmes to ensure that appropriate Objectives and Priorities are selected.
(8) promoting employment and supporting labour mobility
a)development of business incubators and investment support for self employment and business creation
b)local development initiatives and aid for structures providing neighbourhood services to create new jobs, where such actions are outside the scope of the Regulation
c)investing in infrastructure for public employment services
a)Access to employment for job-seekers and inactive people, including local employment initiatives and support for labour mobility
b)Sustainable integration of young people not in employment, education or training into the labour market
c)Self-employment, entrepreneurship and business creation
d)Equality between men and women and reconciliation between work and private life
e)Adaptation of workers, enterprises and entrepreneurs to change
f)Active and healthy ageing
g)Modernisation and strengthening of labour market institutions, including actions to enhance transnational labour mobility
(9) promoting social inclusion and combating poverty:
a)investing in health and social infrastructure which contribute to national, regional and local development, reducing inequalities in terms of health status, and transition from institutional to community-based services
b)support for physical and economic regeneration of deprived urban and rural communities
c)support for Social Enterprises
b)Integration of marginalised communities such as the Roma
c)Combating discrimination based on sex, racial or ethnic origin, religion or belief, disability, age or sexual orientation
d)Enhancing access to affordable, sustainable and high-quality services, including health care and social services of general interest
e)Promoting the Social Economy and Social Enterprises
f)Community-led Local Development Strategies
(10) investing in education, skills and lifelong learning infrastructure
investing in education, skills, lifelong learning by developing education and training infrastructure
a)Reducing early school-leaving and promoting equal access to good quality early-childhood, primary and secondary education
b)Improving the quality, efficiency and openness of tertiary and equivalent education with a view to increasing participation and attainment levels
c)Enhancing access to lifelong learning, upgrading the skills and competences of the workforce and increasing the labour market relevance of education and training systems
(11) enhancing institutional capacity and an efficient public administration
by strengthening of institutional capacity and the efficiency of public administrations and public services related to implementation of the ERDF, and in support of actions in institutional capacity and in the efficiency of public administration supported by the ESF.
a)Investment in institutional capacity and in the efficiency of public administrations and public services with a view to reforms, better regulation and good governance
b)Capacity building for stakeholders delivering employment, education and social policies and sectoral and territorial pacts to mobilise for reform at national, regional and local level.
At this stage Leslie Huckfield Research offers this initial update merely as a basis for information and discussion. Please note that highlighted ERDF Objectives and ESF Priorities above are intended to be illustrative and not exclusive.This posting seeks to alert Social Enterprises on discussions in which urgently they should seek to be involved.