Finance Minister tells EU leaders the importance of EU Funds and Cohesion Policy to Wales
Finance Minister Jane Hutt has addressed the Sixth Cohesion Forum in Brussels this week where she told EU leaders how Structural Funds have benefited the Welsh economy.
Attended by some 700 individuals, including Ministers and leaders from national and regional governments, and institutions across the EU, the Forum discussed the contribution of EU Cohesion Policy, the main investment policy of the EU, in delivering on the goals Europe 2020 strategy, by creating jobs and reducing disparities across the EU.
The Finance Minister joined the debate to highlight the significant progress and impact created by Cohesion Policy through the delivery of EU funds in Wales, including winning four prestigious EU RegioStars awards – an accolade bestowed upon Europe’s most pioneering and innovative projects.
Finance Minister said:
“I am delighted to have joined this very important debate. EU funds through Cohesion Policy have already helped to create some 27,200 (gross) jobs and some 9,100 enterprises in Wales. In addition, some 180,300 people have gained qualifications and over 60,000 have been helped into work. EU funds have been and will continue to be vital for Wales, and so too is the UK and Wales’ relationship with Europe so that our businesses can thrive and our people will prosper.”
The Forum marked the publication of the Sixth Cohesion Report on Economic, Social and Territorial Cohesion which also outlines how future EU investments will be focused on key areas to benefit businesses and citizens, such as research and innovation, energy efficiency, skills and employment, and social inclusion.
Finance Minister added:
“Our EU investment priorities to be delivered over 2014– 2020 are closely aligned to our Programme for Government and Europe 2020 strategies. With the help of the European Commission and our Welsh partners, we have made excellent progress in embracing the principles of concentration, integration and simplification to maximise impact and create a lasting legacy from these EU investments, helping to drive economic growth and jobs for the benefit of Wales.”
The report also analyses the state of cohesion of the EU and highlights how EU Cohesion Policy has helped inject much needed investment in many EU Member States during a time of financial and economic pressures, and has helped to create vital financial stability to drive private sector investment.
Johannes Hahn, European Commissioner for Regional Policy, welcomed the attendance of the Finance Minister and said:
"The Welsh experience is an excellent example of how the UK regions can benefit from working with EU funds to boost their potential. It is great to have Jane Hutt at the Forum: we need UK voices in all important debates in Brussels."
"EU funds have played a significant role in economic development in Wales. This is set to continue during the next seven years with the development of strategically-focussed programmes closely aligned with the Europe 2020 strategy for growth and jobs. I wish to commend the Welsh authorities for their continued cooperation with the European Commission in ensuring that the new EU programmes will continue to benefit Wales and provide maximum added value and tangible results on the ground."
While in Brussels the Minister also met with the French Europe Minister Harlem Desir, the Lithuania Finance Minister Rimantas Sadzuis, a number of Commission Directors General and Welsh MEPs to discuss the progress and opportunities through future EU funds.
Latest News from
Further support for Welsh businesses12/05/2021 12:25:00
Businesses in Wales still affected by coronavirus restrictions will be able to claim up to £25,000 more in support to help meet ongoing costs, First Minister Mark Drakeford has announced.
Unpaid carers encouraged to use rapid COVID self-test kits12/05/2021 11:25:00
Access to rapid COVID self-test kits (lateral flow tests) are now available to unpaid carers.
Wales pilot test events get underway12/05/2021 09:05:00
As the coronavirus restrictions continue to relax in Wales, Welsh Government has announced a proposed list of pilot test events to take place over the forthcoming weeks.
Ministry of Justice Mediation Voucher Scheme11/05/2021 14:05:00
The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) has developed a mediation voucher scheme, whereby a contribution of up to £500 per case/family to the mediation costs of a child arrangements case will be offered.
Hundreds of ventilators to be sent to India from Wales11/05/2021 11:05:00
Medical equipment will be sent from Wales to support the international emergency response to the coronavirus pandemic in India.
GO Awards success!11/05/2021 09:33:00
The Critical Equipment Requirement Engineering Team (CERET) has been named winners of the COVID-19 Outstanding Response award at the 2021 Government Opportunities (GO) Awards Wales.
UK CMOs agree to lower UK COVID-19 alert level10/05/2021 14:05:00
Statement from UK CMOs lowering the UK COVID-19 alert level from level 4 to level 3.
Welsh Government update – AstraZeneca Vaccine07/05/2021 14:05:00
Adhering to the latest expert information, as a precautionary measure we will immediately implement the change in advice from JCVI and MHRA and offer those under 40 (with no clinical risk factors) who are not yet vaccinated an alternate to AstraZeneca.