§ Alan Johnson
Structural funds comprise the European regional development Fund (ERDF), the European social fund (ESF), and two smaller funds for agriculture (EAGGF) and fisheries (FIFO).
The programmes are all multi-annual and some are multi-fund. The table sets out allocations by region and objective for the last two years of the 1994–99 programming period and the first three years of the 2000–06 period.
There are many thousands of individual projects supported by the funds, and details of expenditure on individual schemes could only be provided at disproportionate cost. 15W
Allocations (£s Million) Region Objective 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 42 28 137 — — — England and Gibraltar 3 — — 349 357 364 Scotland 3 — — 43 43 44 Wales 3 — — 10 11 11 1 Objective 5b was subsumed into Objective 2 for the 2000–06 programme period. 2 Objective 4 was subsumed into Objective 3. Allocations of structural funds by region and objective in UK.
§ Alan Johnson
The Structural Funds are multi-annual and often multi-regional programmes. In England, the Regional Government Offices are responsible for the implementation of the funds. They provide the secretariats, which distribute the funds to all final beneficiaries, which include the Regional Development Agencies.
Responsibility for the Structural Funds lies with the Welsh European Funding Office (WEFO) in Wales, the Scottish Executive in Scotland and the Department for Finance and Personnel in Northern Ireland.
The relevant Structural Funds programmes cover the periods 1994–99 and 2000–06. The annual allocations were provided in my answer to the hon. Members question no. 111804, which I have answered today.
The distribution of funds allocated in the 1994–99 period continued in 2000 and 2001. The distribution of funds allocated for the 2000–06 period is still at an early stage. For these current programmes there is a requirement that each annual allocation is spent by the end of the second year following the year of allocation (the N + 2 rule). This rule was tested for the first time for Objective 1 regions at the end of 2002, when all but a very small part of the 2000 allocations was fully spent. For the Objective 2 regions, 2003 will be the first year in which the rule applies and it is too early to say what levels of expenditure will be achieved.
More detailed information about the distribution of funds in individual years could be provided only at disproportionate cost.