Responses from northern ireland to the February 2006 Consultation on the National Strategic Reference Framework: European Structural Funds 2007 – 2013



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INTRODUCTION





  • The UK Government is currently seeking views on the draft National Strategic Framework which will establish the broad priorities for future Structural Funds Programmes in the UK 2007 –2013.




  • This response has been collated following discussions with officer-level representatives of the Western Economic Strategy Team (WEST). While it does address general issues within the document, it focuses on areas of particular interest to the western sub-regional area.



  1. BACKGROUND INFORMATION ON EU STRUCTURAL FUNDS





  • The EU Structural Funds are the second largest item of EU expenditure and are used to promote regional development and employment across the EU.




  • While the 2007-2013 Structural Funds will cover three objectives – Convergence, Competitiveness and Employment and Territorial Co-Operation, Northern Ireland is eligible for funding under the Competitiveness and Employment and Territorial Co-Operation objectives. The draft National Strategic Reference Framework document only considers the Competitiveness and Employment objective.




  • 75% of the Competitiveness and Employment Funding must be focussed on activities to support the Lisbon Agenda.





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