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Euro aid spending approved

A detailed agreement between the Welsh Government and the European Commission has been reached on how £2 billion of European aid will be spent over the next seven years.

It's split between a regional development fund, worth about £1.1 billion and a smaller social fund, which supports skills development and helping people into work. Most of the development money will be spent on the European Commission's objectives, including research and innovation, the competitiveness of small and medium sized enterprises, renewables and energy efficiency,

But £252 million will be spent on transport, which the Welsh Government argued was also a priority for economic growth. The metro scheme to improve public transport in Cardiff and the Valleys will be a major beneficiary but the Commission has also agreed to some of the money being spent on road improvements to the A40 in west Wales and the A55 in the north.

Wales is the first to adopt programmes in the UK and indeed, it is a model for the rest of Europe's regions in terms of 'partnership in action'. Thanks to the tireless work and dedication - from ministerial level to the grassroots, we are able to launch these vital programmes for investments that will set Wales on the path to smart and green growth - connecting people, skills and jobs

– European Commissioner for Regional Policy Corina Cretu

The EU is a unique partnership of nations working together for the benefit of their citizens, and as a pro-European Government we value the role of Wales in Europe and to the UK’s membership of the EU.

– Finance Minister Jane Hutt AM

'History of failures' over environmental rules at Pembroke

The full scale of environmental concerns in Europe about the £1bn power station in Pembrokeshire were revealed today. A leaked document from the European Commission says there has been a 'history of failures' in applying European environmental rules over the Pembroke plant.

The damming criticism could mean costly changes at the plant, although the site's owners say their operations have been thoroughly scrutinised. Our West Wales Reporter Kevin Ashford explains.


'Substantial impacts' of power station 'disregarded'

The European Commission's letter, seen by ITV Wales, criticises the UK government for failing to examine the environmental impacts of Pembroke power station. It says Milford Haven waterway has already 'suffered deterioration and significant disturbance.'

  • 'Substantial impacts [of the scheme] were disregarded' by the UK government
  • There has been a 'history of failures' to correctly apply European environmental rules
  • Milford Haven waterway has 'suffered deterioration and significant disturbance from past activities'
  • There has been a 'failure by your [UK] government to halt damaging trends'