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Mr. Ancram: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what his policy is on the holding of a referendum on independence in Montenegro by the end of this year; and if he has received representations from the Montenegran Government on the issue. 
Mr. Straw [holding answer 5 March 2002]: The future of Montenegro is ultimately in the hands of the people of Montenegro. But we and our EU partners have made clear our belief that Montenegro's interests, and those of the wider region, will best be served by a negotiated outcome between Belgrade and Podgorica which leaves intact a single internationally-recognised state. The EU High Representative, Javier Solana, has been working with the parties on this issue since November 2001. We strongly
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support his efforts and have advised the parties against any abrupt or unilateral moves in this delicate situation. All those concerned, including President Djukanovic of Montenegro, have engaged constructively in this process.
We maintain regular contact with the Montenegrin authorities, and with President Djukanovic personally, on this and on other issues.
Mr. Donohoe: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what plans he has to celebrate Europe day in 2002. 
Peter Hain: The FCO today launched a new website, www.europeday.gov.uk, to raise awareness of Europe day and of Britain's role in Europe. It is hoped that the website format and the style of the content will primarily appeal to teenagers and young adults. It will feature information about Europe day and the European Union, details of Europe day celebrations and a quiz to promote an interest in European affairs.
Mr. Donohoe: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when he will publish the next report to Parliament on Hong Kong and the Sino-British Joint Declaration. 
Mr. MacShane: The tenth report in this series, covering the period July-December 2001, was laid before the House yesterday. A copy of the report is also available on the Foreign and Commonwealth Office website, www.fco.gov.uk. The report includes a foreword by my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary. I commend the report to the House.
Mr. Donohoe: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will list the forthcoming business in the Council of the European Union for March and also the major European Union events for the period between 31 March and August. 
Peter Hain: The information is as follows.
|1||Brussels||Justice and Home Affairs Council (evening)|
|1||Brussels||Internal Market, Consumers and Tourism Council|
|7||Brussels||Employment and Social Affairs Council|
|1112||Brussels||General Affairs Council|
|18||Toledo||Meeting of Trade Ministers (Ministerial Informal)|
|19||Toledo||Euromed Trade Ministers Meeting|
|2324||Brussels||Defence Minister's Meeting (Ministerial Informal)|
|2526||Brussels||Transport and Telecom Council|
|2728||Monterry, Mexico||Financing and Development Conference|
The following are the principal events in the EU between 1 April and August 2002 (certain relevant events are also included: the list is based on the information available at the date of issue).
|56||Luxembourg||Migrations Council (ASEM Ministerial Informal)|
|1314||Luxembourg||ECOFIN (Ministerial Informal)|
|1516||Luxembourg||General Affairs Council|
|2526||Luxembourg||Justice and Home Affairs Council|
|2730||Luxembourg||Agriculture Council (Ministerial Informal)|
|34||Brussels||Tourism Council (Ministerial Informal)|
|13||Brussels||General Affairs Council and Defence Ministers Meeting|
|1718||Madrid||EU-Latin America and Caribbean Summit|
|21||Brussels||Internal Market, Consumers and Tourism Council|
|23||Brussels||Culture and Audio-visual Council|
|2426||Brussels||Environment Council (Ministerial Informal)|
|30||Brussels||Education and Youth Council|
|311 June||Brussels||Transport Council (Ministerial Informal)|
|3||Brussels||Employment and Social Affairs Council|
|68||Brussels||Foreign Affairs Council (ASEM Ministers)|
|67||Brussels||Industry and Energy Council|
|1011||Brussels||General Affairs Council|
|1314||Brussels||Justice and Home Affairs Council|
|1718||Brussels||Transport and Telecoms Council|
|1718||Brussels||General Affairs Council|
|24||Brussels||General Affairs Council (Evening)|
|6||Copenhagen||ASEM Ministers for Finance|
|1213||Kolding||Meeting of Employment and Social Policy Ministers (Informal)|
|1921||Arhus||Environment Ministers Meeting (Informal)|
|2223||Brussels||General Affairs Council|
|311||Elsinore||Gymnich (Ministerial Informal)|
6 Mar 2002 : Column 395W
Michael Fabricant: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, pursuant to his answer of 27 February 2002, Ref 38404, if his Department has conducted an internal analysis of the recurring annual direct and indirect (a) costs and (b) benefits arising from UK membership of the European Union. 
Mr. Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a
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statement on paragraph 1 of the Laeken conclusions, with particular reference to the inclusion of the concept of irreversibility. 
Peter Hain: The opening paragraph of the Laeken conclusions refers to three of the EU's main projectsthe introduction of the single currency, enlargement and the Future of Europe debate. The Gothenburg European Council in June 2001 noted the impressive progress in the enlargement negotiations and observed that
6 Mar 2002 : Column 397W
Government remain committed to the timetable for enlargement agreed at Gothenburg and reinforced at Laeken.
Mr. Wood: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how much revenue the Treasury estimates has been lost each year since 1997 through (a) income tax evasion, (b) VAT evasion, (c) non-payment of national insurance contributions and (d) benefit fraud. 
Dawn Primarolo: There is no reliable measure of the total income tax and national insurance contributions lost to evasion. In his report, published in March 2002, Lord Grabiner QC commented on the scale of the hidden economy and said:
"It would be impractical to arrive at a precise and meaningful figure as to the scale of the problem without a considerable investment of time and resources."
The most recent estimate of the annual loss to benefit fraud is £2 billion.
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