§ Mr. Henderson
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what steps Her Majesty's Government are taking to ensure that the United Kingdom obtains the maximum 19.3 per cent. of European funds which is available under the 1987 European regional development fund.
§ Mr. Atkins
The United Kingdom is, by Community regulation, guaranteed 14.50 per cent. of the European regional development fund, provided it submits enough qualifying applications. The upper limit of the United Kingdom's share is 19.31 per cent. In 1985, before Portugal and Spain joined the Community, the corresponding figures were 21.42 per cent. and 28.56 per cent.
Similar provisions, with different numbers, apply to the other member states. Since the sum of the current guaranteed lower limits is 88.63 per cent., and of the upper limits 117.09 per cent., the average outcome is bound to be nearer the lower limits.216W
The limits are applied to commitments over periods of three years, currently 1985–87. The United Kingdom has applications with the Commission to a value of over the upper limit applicable for this period.
The allocation of the fund, within the limits, is the responsibility of the European Commission under the terms of the regulation. The Commission is well aware of our interest in a good share. Other member states have similar interests.