In line with our mission, WCVA will work to connect stakeholders, enable dialogue with the sector and influence the process of Britain’s exit from the European Union. WCVA accepts that the UK has voted to leave the European Union, not Europe.

Since the result of the EU referendum which saw the UK vote to leave the European Union, WCVA has undertaken a series of activities in the interest of the third sector during the European Transition. This work includes:

  • A joint event with the Electoral Reform Society to stimulate 'A better referendum' debate.
  • A statement as an immediate response to the referendum result.
  • A webinar to update the sector on events following the referendum result, this also provided an opportunity for organisation to ask questions. This formed a basic FAQ section of the website.
  • WCVA SMT attending four meetings with the Secretary of State for Wales with a range of Third Sector organisations.
  • Securing the membership of Ruth Marks, WCVA's Chief Executive and Tom Jones, Vice President on the  European Advisory Group established by the First Minister.
  • Gauging third sector views to inform our response to the National Assembly for Wales' consultation on the implications for Wales of Britain exiting the European Union.
  • Gathered the verdict of WCVA members on Brexit via a Snapshot Survey. You can read the results of the survey here.
  • Produced a report following the most recent Third Sector Partnership meeting which focused on the impact of Britain's exit from the EU would have on the third sector in Wales.

 

What matters to the sector?

The result from the referendum in June 2016 has implications across the third sector in Wales which are multi-facetted and cut across potentially all aspects and areas being considered and negotiated during the UK's exit talks with Brussels. 

The sector is telling us that these are the main key areas of interest:

Community cohesion

The referendum vote showed different voting patterns by region, age and socio-economic background, highlighting a disconnect between the Welsh establishment and the communities they serve. Anecdotal evidence from our members and networks, substantiated by Government research into Hate Crime, England and Wales 2015/16 and highlighted in the media, demonstrates a clear difference in inter-generational attitudes to Brexit and an increase in racially motivated hate crimes. The sector has a vital role to play in strengthening community cohesion.

Loss of influence

The Partnership Principle which underpins the design, management and implementation of the Structural funds in Wales has enabled third sector representatives to be involved in the decision making around funding decisions. WCVA would seek for any successor funding arrangements to retain the approach of the Partnership Principle and the commitment to a multi-annual funding framework.

Loss of funding

The third sector in Wales has been very successful at accessing and creating impact with European funding through the main structural funds programmes but also other EU funding streams. Since 2007 the sector has accessed in excess of £317 million of EU Structural and Investment fund through a range of grants and procured contracts. The loss of these funds would have a significant impact on the sectors ability to deliver projects that contribute to the social and economic regeneration of the most deprived areas of Wales.

Loss of knowledge transfer

Currently being a member of the European Union facilitates access to pan European networks and opportunities to deliver projects in partnership with other Member States. A key risk to Brexit could be the withdrawal from these opportunities which would impact on our ability to be outward looking and receptive to new ideas.

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We are committed to keeping the sector up to date with both our work, and that of other relevant stakeholders. As such, we have created an online resource database which brings together publications around the European Transition process and third sector interests. In it, we list official publications from governmental and statutory institutions as well as providing links to research papers from charities, think tanks and sister councils etc.. Click here to download the categorised spreadsheet.

WCVA is tracking the process and aims to keep the sector informed of key developments through our weekly WCVA News e-bulletin, website and events.  If you have any questions or comments, please contact the Third Sector European Team at 3SET@WCVA.org.uk