2014-2020 Structural Fund Consultation results published
The Department for Business Innovation and Skills has published the results from its recent informal consultation on the delivery of EU ‘Common Strategic Framework Funds’ in 2014-2020.These Funds are:
- European Social Fund
- European Regional Development Fund
- Cohesion Fund
- European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development
- European Maritime and Fisheries Fund
Launched in March, the consultation sought initial views on how the new round of funds can best be used to support sustainable economic growth and jobs, including various delivery options for the funds in England.
The consultation follows the publication by the European Commission of:
- a package of legislative proposals on the future of European Union (EU) Cohesion Policy on 6 October 2011. These are currently being examined by the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union, which will jointly adopt the final version of the regulations.
- a working document (in March) setting out its proposals for elements of a "Common Strategic Framework" for EU funds in 2014-2020. This sets out how the funds can work together and contribute to the Europe 2020 strategy for growth and jobs. The status and content of the framework is subject to the outcome of negotiations on the draft EU regulations governing the funds.
187 consultation responses were received from local and non-departmental government bodies, universities, the civil society sector and business organisations. In broad terms, stakeholders called for:
- a reduction in the administrative burden in delivering each of the Funds.
- the ability to align funds, as appropriate, to enable a more holistic approach to dealing with barriers to growth.
- a flexible approach to funding programmes that allow for a place based approach. Securing local engagement would be key throughout all programmes.
- better use of match funding by aligning national funding sources and being more creative in the use of local sources, including private sector.
The Government is now considering how to take the next phase of work forward and will gather further evidence during autumn 2012 before a formal consultation expected in spring 2013.
When the regulations have been adopted, Member States will need to develop and submit Partnership Agreements and Operational Programmes for 2014-2020. The timetable for this and the launch of programmes will depend on when agreement is reached on the EU budget for 2014-2020, as well as the regulations.
The UK Partnership Agreement will essentially be a high level business plan to be agreed with the European Commission, which would set out how the UK would deliver the funds. The Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish Administrations are making their own consultation arrangements as part of the preparations for their own sections of the UK Partnership Agreement.
- 2014-2020 Structural Fund consultation response consultation response – July 2012 (Department for Business, Innovation & Skills website)
More information on the latest 2014-2020 developments can be found at: