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Meg debates the future of South Yorks funding with leading European MP

Tuesday, February 18, 2003

The future of South Yorkshire"s European funding was the topic of discussion this week when Meg Munn, MP for Sheffield Heeley met for talks with Labour colleague Richard Corbett, Euro MP for Yorkshire and the Humber, in the European Parliament in Brussels.

Due to the enlargement of the European Union in the coming years, South Yorkshire will probably lose its "Objective 1" status, the highest level of European funding, but much of Yorkshire could still get the next best "Objective 2".

Richard Corbett MEP said;

"There is only one pot of European funding and we must now take account of the fact that, with enlargement, funds must be spread over a larger European Union.

"However, in terms of our region"s prosperity,  there should be a very gradual phasing out of the "Objective 1" funding, rather than it just coming to a shuddering halt.

"We must also fight for a higher proportion of funding to go to "Objective 2" so that Yorkshire will still benefit from the European Regional Funds".

 Meg Munn MP said;

"Obviously it"s important that new regions coming into Europe benefit from structural funds but it"s also important that areas such as South Yorkshire continue to get the help they need to improve the local economy for local people".

Both Richard Corbett MEP and Meg Munn MP feel that political sustainability will be undermined if people think that these funds are simply being transferred from Western Europe to the countries of Eastern Europe become members. The system of regional funding must benefit poorer areas across the whole of Europe.

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