To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, pursuant to the Answer of 25 February 2015 to Question 224801, what estimate he has made of the amount of European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) that have been withheld in England so far as a result of the delay in the formal adoption of ESIF Operational Programmes for 2014 to 2020 by the European Commission.
No funding has been withheld in England as a result of delay in the formal adoption of European Structural and Investment Funds programmes. The full value of England’s allocation from the Funds is expected to be available once the relevant Operational Programmes are agreed. In this context, it should be noted that the Operational Programme for the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development in England was agreed on 13 February and the other European Structural and Investment Funds Operational Programmes for England are expected to be agreed in summer 2015. Under the European Structural and Investment Funds Common Provisions Regulation (Regulation 1303/2013), the Managing Authority for the relevant Fund has to have submitted a valid payment claim to the European Commission by the end of the third year following the year in which the money was committed from the EU budget.