Page last updated at 11:50 GMT, Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Finance Committee

Higher Education Wales is calling for the next round of structural funds to focus on sustainability and help create long term jobs, a representative told the committee on 29 February 2012.

Professor Richard B Davies gave evidence for the committee's inquiry into the effectiveness of European structural funding in Wales.

He also recommended that the next round of structural funds prioritises actions which have the potential to have a transformational social and economic impact on Wales in generating jobs at all levels and sustainable growth.

European Union officials are currently discussing the structure of the forthcoming round of funding.

Higher Education Wales is determined that universities will play a full role in realising the regional innovation outcomes which will deliver this transformational change.

Deputy Minister for European Programmes Alun Davies explained that the Welsh government is co-working with the UK Government, other devolved governments and Welsh partners to help shape the UK's negotiating position and the policy direction for the next round of EU programmes.

He added that he is broadly satisfied with the way structural programmes have been performing through the recent economic downturn and that going forward, he wanted to see the creation of more sustainable jobs.

Structural funds are allocated in order to reduce regional disparities in terms of income, wealth and opportunities amongst European union members.

They are distributed on the basis of need, but all regions are eligible for funding under the policy's various funds and programmes.

For the purposes of European funding, Wales is divided into two regions: West Wales and the Valleys and East Wales, with the former region qualifying for the highest level of funding.

Wales will have received around £1.9bn worth of funding for the period 2007-2013.

Read this in Welsh.

Finance Committee membership

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