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Terms of Reference for the European Strategy Group Purpose The purpose of the European Strategy Group (ESG) is to provide strategic leadership to the developing regional European agenda within the Northwest of England, in line with the Regional European Framework for Action (REFA). This to involve promoting England’s Northwest as an outward looking European region.

Overall Objectives ●

To oversee the implementation of the Regional European Framework for Action and promote activities within it.

To advise on priorities for Regional Projects to be supported by European funding.

Cohesion/Structural Funds Policies ●

To develop and provide the Northwest’s continued access to EU Structural Funds post 2006 working closely with the European Affairs KPG.

To contribute to the alignment of the delivery of the Structural Funds programmes under Objective 1, 2 and 3 and the England Rural Development Programme with the Regional Economic Strategy including the encouragement of synergy and exchange of best practice through the Objective 1 PMC and the Objective 2/3 PMRC.

To support GONW on programme performance issues, including strategic guidance to the NWDA on the allocation of the Performance Reserve, as appropriate.

To support the delivery of the Cross Cutting Themes (equal opportunities/social inclusion; ICT; sustainable development), including promoting these principles to the PMC/PMRC.

Competitiveness/eEurope ●

To support maximum use by the region of non-structural EU funding opportunities, encouraging co-ordination with domestic programmes and best fit with the Regional Economic Strategy.

To oversee the delivery of the regional Innovative Actions Programme (NW BRAIN).

An Outward Looking Region ●

To oversee the delivery of the Enlargement Task Group Action Plan.

To support the development of inter-regional projects and platforms.

The ESG will work closely with the European Affairs Key Priority Group through its Chair, Vice and Deputy Chairs to ensure that there is no duplication of effort, and with GONW to link more directly to the Objective 1 PMC and the Objective 2/3 PMRC. Sharing resources and encouraging an exchange of views, both within the NW and in Brussels, is to the benefit of the region. This will be enhanced by collaborative implementation of the REFA via the joint officer support structures through the European Advisers’ Group.

a regional european framework for action