RENEWED efforts to reverse Europe’s decision to cut regional aid to Shetland continue next week with a visit from the top Brussels bureaucrat involved in the issue.
European regional policy commissioner Johannes Hahn has added Shetland to his list of places to visit during his tour of Scotland, following an invitation from council leader Gary Robinson.
In June the European Union resolved to separate Shetland from the rest of the highlands and islands and put it in the same bracket as cities like London, Paris and Rome for regional aid.
Council delegations to Brussels to campaign against the move, which was based on Shetland’s strong economy and low unemployment, failed.
Robinson said the EU was not paying enough attention to Shetland’s remote situation by ignoring important factors such as distance from markets, the high cost of living and the fact that it costs much more per head of population to provide public services.
Robinson said he would use Hahn’s visit to show him the range of projects that have received EU funds in Shetland.
Hahn added: “I want to see for myself on the ground the excellent use that I know is already being made of EU structural funds in Scotland.
“During my time here I will be meeting with key players and representatives at national and local level.
“Crucially I will be seeing some of the projects that demonstrate the dynamism at play in Shetland.
“There are big changes ahead and this is a crucial time as far as planning for the next seven years is concerned.
“Our reforms of EU regional policy will help ensure that the funds are invested with more focus than ever before, with more strategy focus, while making the most of every region and every communities particular assets and strengths.
“This should all be aimed at improving the competitiveness of Scotland’s regions and cities but most importantly the well-being of its communities.”
Become a supporter of Shetland News
Shetland News is asking its many readers to consider start paying for their dose of the latest local news delivered straight to their PC, tablet or mobile phone.
Journalism comes at a price and because that price is not being paid in today’s rapidly changing media world, most publishers - national and local - struggle financially despite very healthy audience figures.
Most online publishers have started charging for access to their websites, others have chosen a different route. Shetland News currently has over 430 supporters who are all making small voluntary financial contributions. All funds go towards covering our cost and improving the service further.
Your contribution will ensure Shetland News can: -
- Bring you the headlines as they happen;
- Stay editorially independent;
- Give a voice to the community;
- Grow site traffic further;
- Research and publish more in-depth news, including more Shetland Lives features.
If you appreciate what we do and feel strongly about impartial local journalism, then please become a supporter of Shetland News by either making a single payment or monthly subscription.
Support us from as little as £3 per month – it only takes a minute to sign up. Thank you.Support Shetland News