South of Scotland EU funding boundaries

06 June 2005
MEP Alyn Smith (SNP) has today called on the Executive to stick up for the South of Scotland and apply to have the NUTS II boundaries, which determine eligibility for EU funding, redrawn.

Mr Smith has received confirmation from the European Commission statistics agency that areas will be reclassified in 2006 and that the Commission will consider requests from Member States.

Responding to the letter Mr Smith said

"I welcome this intervention from the Commission. The boundaries for the South of Scotland, joining Dumfries and Galloway to Glasgow and the Borders to Edinburgh distort the picture of the area and ignore its rural characteristics. This leads to the region missing out on millions of pounds of EU funding.

"We have heard from Jim Wallace and Douglas Alexander that boundaries cannot be redrawn, but this letter from the Commission proves them wrong. The Commission will act if they are asked to so what is stopping the Executive from asking. The question now is why has the Executive not acted so far."