European Structural and Investment Funds Replacement Consultation Steering Group: terms of reference

Terms of reference for the ESIF Replacement Consultation Steering Group.


The steering group is a representative body of stakeholders, established to develop, through consultation and research, the Scottish approach on a potential replacement for European Structural Funding. The aim is to ensure that stakeholders, through collaboration, engagement, innovation and communication, are empowered to provide their input, experience and expertise to play a leading role in the development of the potential replacement for European Structural Funding. The findings and recommendations of the final report will also inform the Scottish business case for continued levels of funding from the UK Government post Brexit.

In the delivery of the final report and recommendations, the steering group will work within the ‘red lines’ outlined by Ministers in ensuring that:

  • Scotland does not lose out financially
  • the devolution settlement must be respected and
  • Scotland is viewed as an equal partner in the development of the replacement funding


The steering group will:

  • consider whether it is in Scotland’s best interests to have a specific “fund”, as opposed to an additional allocation of block funding through Barnett consequentials
  • consider how any replacement for the ESF and ERDF programmes can work to deliver the maximum impact within Scotland
  • inform and agree the scope and form of an effective and proportionate consultation on the replacement of the programmes, including the questions to be covered.  This will include: I. providing insight to complement the consultation on potential priorities administrative practices and methods of allocation of the funds and II. consider the design of the replacement, including regionality, using a needs-based approach and funding periods
  • ensuring relevant stakeholders are consulted
  • provide regular progress/update reports to the minister

The steering group will not:

  • make decisions to assign funding through any replacement arrangements
  • continue beyond the report to Ministers, without Ministerial agreement


Members will be expected to work collectively towards a consensus position at the completion of the process.

Members will be expected to act independently of any personal or professional responsibilities and declare any conflicts of interest to the Chair.

Chair and secretariat

The Chair will provide strategic leadership of steering group members, ensuring that the steering group is able to present the final report and recommendations to the minister by February 2020. 

The Chair will work to enable a collaborative approach to the work of the steering group, with the aim of establishing a consensus position at the completion of the process.

The secretariat will be the existing ESF/ERDF Managing Authority within the Economic Development Directorate of Scottish Government.

Frequency and format of meetings

The steering group will meet as often as deemed necessary, as agreed by the Chair and the members.

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