23 February 1998
EU funds wrangling threatens regions

BRITAINS regions face the prospect of a serious delay in receiving aid from the European Union (EU) after the end of 1999.

Disputes over proposed new rules mean that distribution of funds to many areas may be held up for months.

Political wrangling within the EUs Council of Ministers is holding up the process.

This will be especially serious for the new Objective 2, which mainly covers areas of industrial and rural decline. Benchmarks set by Brussels could eliminate some regions from aid.

The Northern Assembly of Local Authorities in the north east fears a large part of rural Northumberland, Durham and Darlington might no longer be eligible for support.

  • Financial Times 23/02/98 page 8