Plaid Cymru MEP Jill Evans calls for people living in communities which will benefit from European aid to be given more say in how it's spent. Her call follows a vote by MEPs backing EU budget plans which will see more than €2bn of aid granted to Wales between 2014 and 2020.
Plaid Cymru MEP Jill Evans has kept her place at the top of her party's list for next year's European elections. First elected to the European Parliament in 1999, she will stand again after winning a ballot of Plaid members. The party will field a full list of candidates for Wales' four seats.
- Jill Evans
- Marc Jones
- Steven Cornelius
- Ioan Bellin
Marc Jones is a Wrexham councillor; Steven Cornelius works for the European Free Alliance, the group in the European Parliament that includes Plaid Cymru; Ioan Bellin is a former Westminster and Assembly candidate in Pontypridd.
– Jill Evans MEP
The European Parliament is not perfect and it does need reform. However it must always be remembered that it gives more back to Wales in funding than it receives from us. Until our economic performance is raised significantly and some parts of the valleys cease to be among the poorest parts of Europe, this will continue to be the case. We now need to ensure that every pound we receive from the European Parliament is put to good use and harnessed to develop our economy. Our poverty is not inevitable and Plaid Cymru also believes that Wales can do so much better than we are at the moment.
European elections are increasingly close fights. In 1999, when Wales had five seats Plaid Cymru and Labour each had two MEPs and the Conservatives one. At the last election, in 2009, the Conservatives topped the poll, taking one seat, as did Labour, Plaid Cymru and UKIP.
Following the announcement of the amount of European aid Wales will get, Plaid Cymru MEP Jill Evans says,
The confirmation that Wales is set to lose £75m of European funding is devastating news for our nation.
While it is a welcome fact that the cut is less than initially feared, we must remember that no cut would have taken place had the Government not been aided and abetted by Labour MPs from Wales.
As a net beneficiary of EU membership, parts of Wales receive structural funds for all-important fields such as agriculture and education - funding which is vital for some of our poorest communities. Some of these are not only the worst off areas in Wales but throughout the whole of Europe.
– Jill Evans MEP, Plaid Cymru
Areas such as West Wales and the Valleys are new set to miss out on vital EU cash that could have helped strengthen and develop our economy.
Plaid Cymru maintains that Wales' future lies within Europe where support and cooperation between nations can bring mutual social and economic benefits.