Neena Gill, MEP (Lab, West Midlands) has welcomed the European Commission’s plans to simplify access to EU investment funds which could help thousands of businesses across the region
The commission plans to reduce the administrative burden for businesses, charities and local authorities looking to access European Structural Investment funds – including the European Regional Development Fund and European Social Fund. The West Midlands received around £640 million from these funds alone between 2007 and 2013.
The commission has set up a high level group which will independently assess and monitor the uptake of simplification opportunities to access and use European Structural and Investment Funds by the Member States.
Speaking after the announcement Neena Gill MEP for the West Midlands said
“We need to make it easier for businesses to access the wealth of EU funds that are available to them. They are hugely important to economic and social development across the EU and I do not want to hear from any businesses who find the process of applying for funds to laborious. The funds are designed to help local business – not hinder them”
“Whilst work will be done in Brussels to reduce red tape we need to also tackle the “Gold Plating” practice which means even more paperwork and bureaucracy is added at the local or national level”
“We have seen ERDF money get delayed by the last Tory government who couldn’t agree how the funds should be managed – I welcome the commission’s commitment to tackle these delays”*
“The support EU funds can bring to local people and local communities are one of the reasons why the UK cannot afford to leave the EU. The post 2014 funding period will potentially see EU investment in the region top the £1 billion mark. I will work tirelessly in the region and in Europe to ensure we can get the most of out of these funds and our membership in the EU.”