BREXIT BLACK HOLE: The German city facing EU-funding EXCLUSION because of end of UK cash

German officials believe Brussels will have their sights on the North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) city of Wuppertal, which has received considerable cash from the bloc in recent years, as the EU attempts to salvage the money lost from the UK. 

The European Commission is understood to be considering cancelling the Structural Funds for Germany and other relatively wealthy member states in a bid to save billions of euros. 

Reports suggest the EU could save £886million (€100billion) over the next seven-year financial period from 2021 to 2028 if ended subsidies to countries with a per capita income above the EU average – which would also affect France, the Netherlands and Sweden.

According to expert calculations, a 15 percent reduction in structural funding would mean Germany would be excluded from all funding programmes. 

This would be devastating to the NRW region, which is budgeted to receive eight billion euros from the EU, during the funding period 2014 to 2021, but if EU budge cuts go could run out of money completely.

Recently the EU provided Wuppertal with millions of pounds to kickstart the Nordbahntrasse project, which city officials believe sparked the German government’s decision to participate financially in expanding the city’s transport routes.

Two additional renovation projects in Wuppertal also received considerable funding from Brussels, and city officials are concerned the money will run out after Brexit.

City director Johannes Slawig said: “It can be assumed that then the tax bases will be adjusted. And that would not be good for Wuppertal.

”Without there being any need for improvement in North Rhine-Westphalia, NRW automatically moves up in the overall comparison of European regions and may then be assigned to a group which is no longer eligible for structural support.”

A total of 7.17 million euros from Brussels went into the construction of Wuppertal’s east to west cycle and hiking route before the German federal government and the state of North Rhine-Westphalia stepped in.

Without an EU subsidy, the renovation of the Engelshaus and the Historic Centre for the Anchor Point China NRW would not also not have been possible.

The EU not only contributes large-scale projects, such as the route or the Engels Centre, but also urban development programmes such as the “Social City” in Heckinghausen. 

There are slo subsidy programmes for the districts of Oberbarmen and Wichlinghausen, where immigration is particularly high compared to other parts of the city. 

Speaking to the German newspaper Westdeutsche Zeitung, Mr Slawig added: “These are fantastic conditions, and the example shows that Europe concerns us all. The EU is not just promoting regions in Eastern Europe.”

The Structural Funds include the European Regional Development Fund (Efre) and the European Social Fund.

EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker has called for the Commission to debate the austerity measures at their next meeting on February 14, diplomats told German newspaper Handelsblatt.

(Additional reporting by Monika Pallenberg.)