Speaking to the National Assembly, Deputy Minister for European Programmes, Alun Davies, said:
"I am committed to working with partners and stakeholders in the development of the new programmes. This independent review will provide us with the opportunity to learn from our experiences in managing the European programmes so far and also to see if we can further streamline and simplify our processes for our customers, including how we engage the private sector in helping to deliver our economic goals.
"The review will also consider how best to promote and facilitate access to a wide range of European funding opportunities – including the Structural Funds, Rural Development Plan and Fisheries Fund, Horizon 2020, Life+ – which is particularly important for organisations during current austerity measures."
The review will be led by Dr Grahame Guilford who has extensive business experience and is a long-standing and active member of the European partnership arrangements in Wales. He is a currently a member of the Post-2013 European Partnership Forum and the All Wales Programme Monitoring Committee 2007–2013.
Dr Guilford said:
"I’ve been involved in partnership arrangements for European funding and in economic development forums for several years and I look forward to helping to build a sound-evidence base upon which to manage the future European programmes for the benefit of our businesses, communities and people of Wales."
The review will focus on further simplifying access to funds, the use of procurement in project delivery, and maximising the role of the private sector. It will also address how best to integrate European funding programmes, including the use of a single e-business platform for customers to manage their funding , common eligibility rules, and inspection, financial monitoring and payment systems.
Split into two parts, the review will aim to deliver initial recommendations by end November 2012 and by end February 2013 and will coincide with a full public consultation on the new programmes later this year before formal negotiations begin with European Commission in mid-2013.
The independent review will support the post-2013 development work already underway with Welsh partners – including through the recent Reflection Exercise, European Programmes Partnership Forum and Workstreams.
The announcement of the review follows the Deputy Minister's recent statement (8 May) on investment priorities for the prospective European programmes 2014-2020.