European Funding

– Scottish Parliament written question – answered on 9th March 2011.

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Photo of Jeremy Purvis Jeremy Purvis Liberal Democrat

Question S3W-39832

To ask the Scottish Executive when it was first made aware that over €40 million of European regional development funding for 2010-11 was at risk of being withheld from Scotland.

Photo of Jeremy Purvis Jeremy Purvis Liberal Democrat

Question S3W-39833

To ask the Scottish Executive when it was first made aware that over €40 million of European regional development funding for 2010-11 had been officially suspended.

Photo of Jeremy Purvis Jeremy Purvis Liberal Democrat

Question S3W-39834

To ask the Scottish Executive when it was first made aware that the European Commission had concerns over the allocation of regional development funding in Scotland.

Photo of Jeremy Purvis Jeremy Purvis Liberal Democrat

Question S3W-39835

To ask the Scottish Executive what recent discussions it has had with the European Commission regarding the allocation of regional development funding and when they took place.

Photo of Jeremy Purvis Jeremy Purvis Liberal Democrat

Question S3W-39836

To ask the Scottish Executive for what reasons the European Commission has decided to withhold over €40 million of regional development funding for 2010-11 from Scotland.

Photo of Jeremy Purvis Jeremy Purvis Liberal Democrat

Question S3W-39837

To ask the Scottish Executive what discussions it has had with the European Commission since the suspension of over €40 million of regional development funding for 2010-11.

Photo of Jeremy Purvis Jeremy Purvis Liberal Democrat

Question S3W-39838

To ask the Scottish Executive what action it is taking to resolve the reported significant shortcomings indentified by the European Commission in the way that regional development funding is allocated in Scotland.

Photo of Jeremy Purvis Jeremy Purvis Liberal Democrat

Question S3W-39839

To ask the Scottish Executive what direction the European Commission has provided on the action that it requires the Scottish Government to take in order to release the €40 million of regional development funding that is being withheld and what action it has taken as a result.

Photo of Jeremy Purvis Jeremy Purvis Liberal Democrat

Question S3W-39840

To ask the Scottish Executive what assessment it has made of the impact on Scottish projects of the decision by the European Commission to suspend over €40 million of regional development funding for 2010-11.

Photo of Jeremy Purvis Jeremy Purvis Liberal Democrat

Question S3W-39841

To ask the Scottish Executive when the over €40 million of regional development funding suspended by the European Commission will be released.

Photo of Jim Mather Jim Mather Scottish National Party

For the 2007-13 period, European Structural Funds in Scotland comprise four programmes: the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the European Social Fund (ESF) in each of the Highlands and Islands and in Lowlands and Uplands programming areas.

The programmes have been "interrupted" not "suspended". An "interruption" is a temporary arrangement, whereas a "suspension" is of a more permanent nature.

Individual projects are not affected by the suspension of payments to the Scottish Government by the European Commission. The interruption refers to the reimbursement of Structural Funds payments by the Commission to the Scottish Government. The Scottish Government will continue to meet all eligible claims by projects.

The ERDF programmes were officially interrupted by the European Commission on 22 December 2010 and this was the point at which the Scottish Government was formally made aware that funds were going to be temporarily withheld.

The ESF programmes were officially interrupted by the European Commission on 15 February 2011; again, this was the point at which the Scottish Government was formally made aware that funds were going to be temporarily withheld.

The European Commission imposed the interruptions as, in its view, the Scottish Government had not carried out sufficient management and control checks prior to its payment declaration in December 2009.

The European Commission has confirmed that the interruptions will be lifted when the Scottish Government provides sufficient evidence that an increased level of management and control checks have been undertaken.

The interruption process, whilst temporary in nature, takes time to resolve. To ensure that this is progressed, the Scottish Government provided the European Commission with additional evidence on the 17 February 2011 and again on 23 February 2011.

We intend that a complete response to the interruptions will be sent to the Commission by Easter. Subject to the Commission’s timetable, it is anticipated that the interruptions will be lifted by the summer.

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