What will replace EU funding post-Brexit? – New Assembly committee inquiry
A new inquiry will examine how funding which currently flows to Wales through the EU will be replaced or reshaped after the UK leaves the EU.
The National Assembly's Finance Committee intends to look at what preparations the Welsh Government is making for different scenarios and which funding models could deliver the best possible benefits for Wales.
Currently more than £2 billion is allocated to Wales through EU Structural funding between 2014 and 2020. The money is targeted at:
Research and Innovation (funding of £239 million for West Wales and the Valleys and £71 million for East Wales);
SME Competitiveness (funding of £166 million for West Wales and the Valleys and £32 million for East Wales);
Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (funding of £137 million for West Wales and the Valleys and £18 million for East Wales); and
Connectivity and Urban Development (funding of £401 million for West Wales and the Valleys and £38 million for East Wales)
Further funding comes from the Common Agricultural Policy, the Rural Development Programme, the Ireland-Wales European Territorial Co-Operation Programme, the European Maritime Fisheries Fund, and Horizon 2020.
In total Wales receives more than double the amount of money per person than any other region of the UK:
Source: Sheffield Political Economy Research Institute, UK regions and European structural and investment funds
"Wales is a net beneficiary of European funding, but when the UK leaves the EU in 2019 all that will come to an end," said Simon Thomas AM, Chair of the Finance Committee.
"We accept that Brexit negotiations are ongoing but Wales can't just sit and wait to find out what happens. People and businesses need to know what will or could replace the funding we currently benefit from.
"We will be asking the Welsh Government what plans they have in place, how much is it going to take and are there alternatives which would suit Wales better in the long term."
The terms of reference for the inquiry are:
To assess the financial planning for replacing EU funding streams in Wales, and what is being done to prepare for different potential scenarios around levels of funding and administrative responsibility; and,
To explore what approaches to administering replacements for current EU funding streams might deliver best for Wales, and to what extent these might replicate or differ from current arrangements.
A public consultation will be open until 11 May 2018. Anyone wishing to contribute should visit the Finance Committee's webpages for more information.