Derek Vaughan MEP has met the European Regional Policy Commissioner, Johannes Hahn, to press the case for an increased aid budget for West Wales and the Valleys. He was interviewed afterwards by Georg von Harrach. The pictures are from the European Parliament.
ITV Cymru Wales understands that the European Commission is close to approving the Welsh Government's proposals for spending €2.1 billion of aid to West Wales and the Valleys over the next seven years. Rough percentages have been given to the different spending priorities.
- Roads, public transport and other Infrastructure 50%
- Small and medium-sized businesses 15%
- Research and development 15%
- Low carbon projects 12%
- Information technology 8%
Although nothing is officially decided until the plans are formally presented as part of the UK Government's submission, the Welsh Government is close to securing half the money for its major priority of infrastructure development. The other four priorities have been set by the European Commission.
In a separate development, Welsh Labour MEP Derek Vaughan says Regional Policy Commissioner Johannes Hahn is "receptive" to the UK Government's plan to avoid a projected cut in the aid budget for West Wales and the Valleys to nearer €1.6 billion. Parts of England will lose out as a result.
– Derek Vaughan MEP
It just seemed a nonsense that Wales could get a cut of 22%. We have won the arguments with the UK government, now we need to win the arguments with the Commission. The Commissioner is very sympathetic towards Wales. He knows and understands that Wales usually uses the funds well.