Frequently asked questions The Objective One Partnership for Cornwall & the Isles of Scilly

This page was last updated on 03.01.2006

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Below is a list of the most frequently asked questions about Objective One and the answers. These will be updated as and when new issues crop up and old ones are resolved.

Click on any question in the list to see the answer:

Q1 What will happen after the present Objective One Programme?
Q2 Has Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly qualified for a Convergence Programme?
Q3 Will the Convergence Programme be the same as the current Objective One Programme?
Q4 What will happen to the rural and fisheries investments?
Q5 What is the Lisbon Agenda?
Q6 How much investment will there be?
Q7 Who will manage the programme?
Q8 What are the Next Steps?
Q9 How are we preparing?
Q10 How will the priorities for the Convergence Programme be agreed?
Q11 How can I keep up to date?
Q12 What is happening in South West England?

All the answers have been kept brief and as simple as possible with links to more detailed information where appropriate.

My question is not here
If your question isn't here call the Objective One Helpline on 0800 028 0120, or try the relevant contact in our Directory listing.

Other Links and sources of information include:
The European Commission
www.europa.eu.int/comm/regional_policy/index_en.htm

South West UK Brussels Office
www.southwestukbrusselsoffice.com

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Q1. What will happen after the present Objective One Programme?
The 25 EU Member States agreed the 2007-13 EU budget on 16 December 2005 at Brussels European Council. This will need to be endorsed by the European Parliament but this is expected to be positive. The agreement of the budget has also set out the framework for its use, including:

The confirmation of Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly as eligible for support from a Convergence programme – this is the EU economic regeneration programme which will follow on from the Objective One Programme.

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Q2. Has Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly qualified for a Convergence Programme?
Yes. The criteria for identifying regions for Convergence programmes are the same as for the present Objective One programmes ie any region with less than 75% of the EU average GVA. According to Eurostat Statistics published in January 2005 for the 3 years 2000-02 Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly was at 70% of the EU average GVA.

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Q3. Will the Convergence Programme be the same as the current Objective One Programme?
Although the exact details have yet to be finalised it is already clear that there will be a number of differences between this Objective One Programme and the Convergence Programme:

It will consist only of European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the European Social Fund (ESF) – the rural and fisheries funds will become part of national programmes.
It looks as though the split between ERDF and ESF could be as high as 50:50.
It will need to clearly show how it is contributing to the Lisbon Agenda – this will mean a significant increase in emphasis on competitiveness, innovation and a more knowledge based economy.
There will be a target of 60% of the Convergence Programme to meet the objectives of the Lisbon Agenda. The nature of these targets has yet to be finalised.

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Q4. What will happen to the rural and fisheries investments?

Current European Agricultural Guidance and Guarantee Fund - EAGGF - (investment from which has included food processing and rural diversification) and LEADER+ will become part of mainstream national activity under the Common Agricultural Policy;
Current Financial Instrument for Fisheries Guidance - FIFG - (investment from which supports the sustainable use of fisheries and fish processing) will become part of mainstream national activity under the Common Fisheries Policy;
Because Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, as a region, have qualified for a Convergence Programme - it looks very probable that there will be “ring-fenced” budgets for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly within the national rural and fish programmes.

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Q5. What is the Lisbon Agenda?
European and UK economic regeneration policy is increasingly being driven by the Lisbon Agenda where the EU set itself the goal of becoming the most competitive and dynamic knowledge based economy in the world. This means a significant increase in emphasis on competitiveness, innovation and a more knowledge based economy and the explicit targeting of investment on outcomes that will drive this.
www.europe.eu.int/comm/regional_policy/themes/lisbon/lisbon_en.htm

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Q6. How much investment will there be?
As yet the details of the exact splits at a UK regional level are unclear however it does appear, from initial estimates, that Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly will get an allocation one third higher than the 2000-06 Objective One programme.

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Q7. Who will manage the programme?

At present, in the Objective One Programme, the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), European Social Fund (ESF) and European Agriculture Guidance and guarantee Fund (EAGGF) are all managed by the Government Office for the South west, based in Plymouth, as well as a small number of staff based in Truro. The Financial Instrument for Fisheries Guidance (FIFG) is managed by the Marine Fisheries Agency in London.

The management arrangements for the 2007-13 Convergence programme have yet to be decided - Government Ministers will make that decision. It may be that:

The Convergence Programme is managed in a similar way to the Objective One Programme; or
The Convergence Programme is much more closely aligned to and managed by one, some or all of the potential public sector match funders for the Programme. Examples include - the Regional Development Agency, the Learning and Skills Council and Jobcentre Plus.

In the latter case the Convergence programme would be much nearer to the Objective One ESF co-financing model, with match funding provided by appropriate existing activity, than Objective One ERDF where projects draw in their own additional match money.

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Q8. What are the Next Steps?
Although the timetable for the next steps has yet to be published – it will need to be agreed by the Austrian Presidency – it looks as though it will be as follows:

March / April 2006 – agreement of the National Strategic Reference Framework, which sets out the UK approach to EU Cohesion Policy.

DTI are coordinating the drafting of the National Strategic Reference Framework with ODPM leading on the England chapter, and Defra inputting on the environment – this will include a section on Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly as one of the two convergence regions in the UK. There will be a formal consultation period in the first quarter of 2006:

May / June 2006– agreement of the Structural Fund Regulations.
End of 2006 / early 2007– submission of Operational Plan for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly to the European Commission. This replaces the Single Programming Document (SPD) of the current Objective One Programme.

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Q9. How are we preparing?
The Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Economic Forum (the Cornwall County Council/Cornwall Enterprise supported public-private economic regeneration partnership) is leading on the review of "Strategy and Action" which will provide the over-arching economic regeneration strategy for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. The appropriate coverage by the strategy is vital to ensure the successful knitting together of all economic regeneration investment programmes whether UK or EU in origin.

The relevant parts of Strategy and Action will inform the basis of the Convergence Programme as well as those for European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development and the European Fisheries Fund.

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Q10. How will the priorities for the Convergence Programme be agreed?
A detailed and justified evidence base, together with an analysis of the drivers of the economic regeneration for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, within the Lisbon Agenda, will inform the identification of priorities for the post 2006 Convergence programme. These must clearly drive competitiveness, innovation, enterprise and a more knowledge based economy.

The experience of the development of the present programme points to negotiations with the European Commission drawing heavily on and testing the evidence base underpinning the operational plan.

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Q11. How can I keep up to date?
The present strategy of the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Economic Forum can be viewed at www.economicforum.org.uk

The Cornwall Economic Forum can be contacted at:
enquiries@economicforum.org.uk
The key contact is Lucy Harris – Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Economic Forum Manager

The Cornwall Agricultural Council – which is the industry voice for agriculture, horticulture, food and the land based industries – have developed their strategy for their sectors for the period 2003-2010 – this and their contact details are available at www.cornwallagriculturalcouncil.org.uk

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Q12. What is happening in South West England?
The South West Cohesion Steering Group (SWRDA, GOSW, RA, LGA, CCC) is developing an integrated approach to cohesion policy across the South West. Cohesion Policy is the EU framework that aims to narrow economic performance between regions of the EU. It includes the structural funds programmes , such as Convergence, which are the main EU level financial instruments for achieving this goal. These funds complement both national and private sector investment. The aim is to agree a SW Cohesion Framework that will provide the context for any EU funding in the region.

www.southwestrda.org.uk/what-we-do/policy/european-funding-pos.shtm

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