In autumn 2011, the Committee agreed to conduct an inquiry into the perceived strengths and weaknesses of the current EU structural fund programmes (2007 – 2013), with a view to understanding how to improve outcomes for Scotland in the 2014 – 2020 funding round.
EU Structural Funds are a series of financial tools set up with the explicit purpose of reducing regional disparities across the EU in terms of income, wealth and opportunity.
The inquiry was conducted in two stages. Stage 1 was a period of fact-finding, which involved a roundtable discussion with stakeholders on 13 December 2011 and a discussion with the European Commission on 29 November 2011.
Read the evidence taken at the roundtable discussion on 13 December 2011
Stage 1 provided the basis for the terms of reference for the Committee’s inquiry into structural funds. The main themes for Stage 2 of the Committee’s inquiry were:
- the obstacles to securing funds, and how good practice can be shared between would-be recipients to increase success
- the nature of the ‘red tape’ that surrounds the application process, the delivery of funds and the auditing of programmes, and how it can be reduced
- the role of the Scottish Government in supporting programmes, and guiding/supporting would-be applicants.
The Committee considered oral and written evidence at its meetings on 20 March, 17 April, and 1 and 15 May 2012.
Read the oral evidence in the Official Reports of the meetings
Read the written submissions recieved
The Committee published its report on EU Structural Funds on 3 July 2012
Read the Committee's report on EU Structural Funds