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Adrian Masters, Political Editor

Once it was so divisive that it led to the resignation of the first First Secretary of the Assembly (as the top job was then known.)

But today it seems European funding is something all parties in Cardiff Bay at least can agree on.

They held a debate today looking back at the last ten years of receiving and using Euro cash with a view to working out what they can do to win it again.

Yes, they agreed it has been a good thing for Wales; yes, it’s been largely well spent although it could have been targetted better and yes, please, they’d like some more if it’s on offer.

What the parties also agreed on was the feeling that the UK Treasury should keep its pointy beak out.

Watch Adrian Master’s report at ITV.com/Wales

Just as happened each previous time the grants were on offer, there’s been a move by the UK Government to take over responsibility for distributing the money.

But Assembly politicians of all parties think Wales would get a better deal from Brussels than from London.

Well they may have had an answer to that as well as the bigger question of getting another batch of Euro cash after 2013 because today the European Commission published what discerning adults like to call “The Fifth Report on Cohesion Policy.”

It’s basically a document which sets out the eligibility rules for winning another chunk of funding, which may or may not be less than the £1.3bn and £2bn that has come in the last two batches from Brussels.

Wales’ MEPs say the new rules give the country a good chance of qualifying AND that they make sure that any money would come directly to Wales not via the Treasury.

That’s why the Fifth Report on Cohesion Policy may not be a bestseller but will still be on the bedsides of some important people.

It’s because it sets out what Wales needs to do to win another batch of Euro Millions.


About Adrian Masters

By day, Political Editor at ITV Wales. By night, obsessed with music and books.


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