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Mr. Laxton: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will list advisers who attended an FCO seminar on 6 January 1999 which discussed the paper 'Building British Influence in the EU' by Charles Grant. 
Peter Hain: One Special Adviser to the then Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, Mr. David Clark, attended the seminar on 6 January 1999 that discussed the paper 'Building British Influence in the EU'.
Mr. Laxton: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the outcome of the seminar on British influence in the EU; and if he will list (a) those Ministers and (b) the grades of officials who attended. 
Peter Hain: The seminar on British influence in the European Union was held on 6 January 1999. It was convened to discuss a paper prepared for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office's Policy Planning Department by Charles Grant. The following Ministers attended: my right hon. Friend the Member for Livingston (Mr. Cook), then Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, and my right hon. Friend the Member for Gateshead, East and Washington, West (Joyce Quin), then Minister of State. Several civil servants of various grades also attended.
Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will improve the publication and availability to Parliament of relevant draft European directives, decisions and regulations prior to decisions in the Council of Ministers. 
Peter Hain: A UK initiative to respond to Westminster concerns about late receipt of texts from Brussels resulted in the Protocol on National Parliaments, annexed to the treaty of Amsterdam, introducing a minimum scrutiny period of six weeks between receipt of official texts and their earliest adoption in the Council of Ministers.
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Adam Price: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what communications there have been between his Department and the European Commission regarding the privatisation of the Romanian state-owned steel industry. 
Peter Hain: European Union member states, including the UK, have worked with the Commission in the relevant EU Committees to encourage the Romanian Government to complete the privatisation of their steel industry as part of their economic reform programme in preparation for EU membership, and to establish a level playing field between EU and Romanian steel producers.
Peter Hain: The Embassy offered all the help to which any company meeting Trade Partners UK's requirements would be entitled. This support continued until the successful conclusion of the deal, when the Ambassador recommended that the Prime Minister should write to his Romanian opposite number to welcome the outcome.
Matthew Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what guidelines ambassadors are expected to follow when they are asked to make representations on behalf of a British company; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. MacShane: It is part of every ambassador's job to promote British commercial interests overseas. In determining whether to act in any particular case, diplomatic posts overseas are expected to consider the benefit to the UK, including the effect on British commercial, economic and foreign policy interests.
1518 October 2001me.
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Mr. MacShane: We have continuing discussions with the US Administration about developments in Colombia, including the peace process and other related issues. Dr. Mo Mowlam discussed Colombia during her visit to Washington in March 2001, as I did when I visited in August 2001.
Mr. Alan Duncan: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the Government's policy on the recent breaking-off of the peace negotiations in Colombia. 
Mr. MacShane: The UK fully understand President Pastrana's decision to suspend dialogue with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). We support this and the decision President Pastrana has taken to terminate the demilitarised zone. I made this clear in my press statement of 21 February and this is a key point in the EU statement of 22 February available on www.fco.gov.uk..
Mr. Alan Duncan: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what plans Ministers from his Department have to visit each country in Latin America, indicating the proposed month of each visit. 
Mr. MacShane: Since taking on responsibility for Latin America I have visited Argentina, Peru, Mexico, Colombia and Brazil and fully intend to continue to visit the region as often as my schedule allows. This is kept under regular review. The Foreign Secretary also intends to visit Latin America this year as will Baroness Symons.
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many times his Department has been asked to help British nationals abroad who have (a) been imprisoned and (b) suffered serious illness in the last three years; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Bradshaw: More than 3,000 British nationals are currently in prison overseas and looking after their welfare is one of our Consular staff's key duties. They visit prisoners at least once a year, more regularly in many cases. If necessary, we raise individual cases with local authorities to ensure that British prisoners' welfare is adequately provided for, and their human rights respected, in accordance with international standards. This includes pressing for proper medical treatment if a prisoner falls ill.
All British Embassies and High Commissions overseas keep records of when prisoners are visited and if they have suffered health problems. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office does not collate data centrally on the number of prisoners who suffer serious illnesses and so to provide this information would incur disproportionate costs.
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statement on the nature of Foreign Office support and sponsorship for organisations promoting bilateral relations between the UK and Romania and list the organisations concerned. 
Peter Hain [holding answer 27 February 2002]: The Foreign Office has consistently supported organisations promoting bilateral relationships between the UK and Romania. Examples include the British-Romanian All-Party Parliamentary Group, the British Romanian Chamber of Commerce, the British Association for Central and Eastern Europe, Communication Workers' Union Humanitarian Aid, the Lay Visiting Charitable Trust, and the Mihai Eminescu Trust.
Peter Hain [holding answer 28 February 2002]: The Romanian Prime Minister was invited by the CBI in June 2001 to speak to their Annual conference on 6 November. On the advice of the FCO, the Prime Minister agreed to a meeting with Mr. Nastase during this visit.
Dr. Julian Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will list the organisations promoting bilateral relations between the UK and individual foreign countries which have been sponsored by his Department in each year since 1997. 
Dr. Julian Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs which (a) present and (b) former Ministers in his Department have been associated with Foreign Office-sponsored organisations promoting bilateral relations between the UK and individual foreign countries in each year since 1997. 
Dr. Julian Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will list the organisations promoting bilateral relations between the UK and individual foreign countries set up in each year since 1997 which his Department has sponsored. 
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