European Structural and Investment Funds Inquiry



The Committee launched a call for written views on 15 February. The closing date for submissions was Friday 13 April 2018.

Written Submissions


Call for views – European Structural and Investment Funds inquiry

The Committee has issued a general call for views on Thursday 15 February, the topic of this inquiry being European Structural and Investments Funds (ESIFs).

ESIFs currently help fund a number of economic development programmes in Scotland, supporting public bodies such as Scottish Enterprise and Highlands and Islands Enterprise, the Funding Council, Skills Development Scotland, local authorities and some of the work of the Scottish Government itself for a wide range of activities, including skills and training programmes, research and development, support to business and the development of infrastructure.

Over the course of May and June this year, the Economy, Jobs and Fair Work Committee will hold an inquiry into ESIFs and what could replace these once the UK leaves the European Union.

The Committee has agreed the following remit:“To understand how European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) are currently used to support economic development in Scotland, at both a regional and local level. This will help inform the committee’s views on, and develop ideas for, what should replace ESIFs once the UK exits the European Union.”

The Committee therefore wants to hear the views and experiences of as many people, businesses and organisations as possible, so it is now seeking written submissions on the following themes.

Current spending priorities and approval processes:

Bearing in mind that Structural Funds are governed by EU rules and regulations:

1. How the Scottish Government identified and agreed spending priorities for its current ESIF allocations. 

2. The processes the Scottish Government went through with the European Commission to gain approval for its ESIF plans.

3. The involvement of SG agencies, local authorities and the third sector at this stage of the process.  

Current spending:

4. How the differing needs of Scotland’s regions are accounted for in the current range of ESIF programmes.

5. How the 2014-2020 programme funding is being spent, which areas have benefitted and any issues with these commitments or processes. 

6. Understanding current accountability and reporting issues.

7. How current and previous programmes are evaluated and any suggested improvements to the evaluation process.

Future programmes:

8. How any future replacement of ESIFs could be used to improve employment, infrastructure and productivity in Scotland’s regions.

9. Which level of government is best placed to decide how future funding is allocated and what accountability processes should be in place?

10. What are the potential opportunities and risks presented by any replacement fund or programme for ESIFs?

How to submit written evidence

Before making a submission, please read our policy on treatment of written evidence by subject and mandatory Committees. In line with that policy, submissions will normally be published on our website.

Written submissions should be reasonably brief and typewritten in Word format (preferably no more than 4-6 sides of A4 in total).

The deadline for receipt of written submissions is Friday 13 April 2018.

Owing to the timescales normally required for the processing and analysis of evidence, late submissions will only be accepted with the advance agreement of the clerk.

The Committee prefers to receive submissions electronically. These should be sent to:

[email protected]

Hard copies may be directed to:

Economy, Jobs and Fair Work Committee
Room T3.40
Scottish Parliament
EH99 1SP 


The Committee wrote to Rt. Hon. Lord Henley, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy on 30 May. Lord Henley responded on 7 June.

The Convener wrote to Lord Henley and Keith Brown, Cabinet Secretary for Economy, Jobs and Fair Work to outline the Committee's provisional findings.

On 3 October, the Convener wrote to Lord Henley and Ivan McKee, Minister for Trade, Investment and Innovation notifying them of the Committee's findings.

 Lord Henley responded on 10 October.

On 13 October, the Minister for Trade, Investment and Innovation, Ivan McKee responded to the Committee.

On 5 November, the Minister for Trade, Investment and Innovation, Ivan McKee wrote to the Committee to inform it of the Scottish Government's European Structural Funds in Scotland post EU Exit.

Work by other Committees

The Convener of the Culture, Tourism, Europe and External Relations Committee wrote to the Cabinet Secretary for Economy, Jobs and Fair Work regarding the European Structural Fund Programmes on 25 January 2018. The Cabinet Secretary replied on 8 March.

The Finance and Constitution Committee’s inquiry aims to explore the experience of lead partners, delivery agents and beneficiaries to inform the design of any future funding of structural priorities in Scotland post-Brexit. Given their parallels, LEADER funding is included in the scope of this inquiry.

On 6 September, the Minister for Trade, Investment and Innovation wrote to the Finance and Constitution Committee informing them of the Steering Group with a remit to oversee the consultation that will address the replacement for European Structural Funds.

  • Professor David Bell – University of Stirling  - Chair
  • Highlands & Islands Enterprise – Rob Clarke
  • SCVO – Anna Fowlie
  • South of Scotland Enterprise Agency – Professor Russel Griggs
  • Scottish Enterprise – Douglas Colquhoun
  • COSLA – Cllr Steven Heddle
  • University of Strathclyde – Professor John Bachtler
  • Scottish Local Authorities Economic Development Group (SLAED) – Names tbc
  • Scottish Government – Richard Rollison (Interim) Director for Economic Development

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