Select Committee on Foreign Affairs Minutes of Evidence

Annex 2




Ministerial Speeches and Participation in Conferences

  The Prime Minister gave a landmark speech on Europe and Enlargement in Warsaw on 6 October 2000.

  On 23 March, Mr John Battle, Minister of State in the FCO, delivered a keynote speech at the "Europe 21" conference on EU enlargement on "Enlargement and building co-operation: a step on the third way", outlining to an audience of business leaders, diplomats and academics the benefits of EU enlargement.

  On 4 May, the Minister for Europe, Keith Vaz, gave a keynote speech at Chatham House on the need to reform the EU for EU enlargement.

  Mr Vaz delivered a speech to the Association for Monetary Union in Europe on 15 June.

  Joyce Quin, Minister of State and Deputy Minister, Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, delivered a keynote speech at a Wilton Park conference on EU enlargement in Warsaw on 3-6 June.

  On 18 July, Mr Vaz spoke on "Bringing Europe closer to the citizen" to the Local Government Conference.

  On 25 July, the Foreign Secretary gave a keynote speech in Budapest which moved the enlargement debate forward and committed Britain to be a "champion of enlargement".

  Mr Vaz delivered a speech on "Cultural Diversity in Europe" on 11 August to open the Minorities for Europe Conference.

New Initiatives

  Since autumn 1999, the Minister for Europe, Keith Vaz has visited 18 UK cities, including Leeds, Norwich, Manchester, Liverpool, Southampton, Edinburgh and Cardiff, as part of the FCO's "Your Britain, Your Europe" roadshow. Improving public understanding of the issues connected with EU enlargement was a key objective of this tour.

  On Europe Day, 9 May 2000, the Minister for Europe, Keith Vaz, opened the doors of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to the public. Over 7,000 visitors viewed stands from 26 European countries, including all of the candidate countries.

  On 31 March and 1 April 2000 Mr Vaz hosted his Visegrad 4 opposite numbers from the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia for informal discussions on building relations with Central Europe and on enlargement at Hanbury Manor. Slovakia will host a follow up event early next year.

  On 29 February, the Secretary of State held talks in London with the Visegrad 3 Foreign Ministers from the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland on European defence.


  On 21 September, the Prime Minister and Swedish Prime Minister Persson published a joint article "Reaching out to all of Europe" in the Financial Times.

  On 14 February, the Prime Minister and Czech Prime Minister Zeman published a joint article "A Historic Opportunity for Europe" in the Financial Times.

  This summer's edition of the FCO's EU newsletter, "Your Britain, Your Europe", focused on enlargement.

  In May this year, new EU enlargement pages were added to the FCO's website (

  In February this year, the FCO published a new leaflet entitled "IGC: Reform for Enlargement", which outlined the Government's position on preparing the EU for enlargement.

  The Department of Trade and Industry published a paper entitled "How might enlargement of the European Union affect the economy of the United Kingdom" in January.

  The FCO publishes a quarterly newsletter on the practical assistance that the UK is providing to the candidate countries, through "Twinning" projects to help them prepare for EU membership.

Participation in Academic Debate

  The FCO hosted a seminar with ESRC on 18 January 2000. The seminar, which focused on EU/CEE/CIS relations, brought together academics and officials. It was chaired jointly by Nigel Sheinwald, Director European Union, FCO, and Professor Helen Wallace, University of Sussex. Professor Wallace is overseeing the ESRC's project "One Europe or Several?" which is considering the dynamics of change across Europe.

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