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Mr. Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on his policy towards the establishment of a common EU border (a) authority and (b) force, under (i) paragraph 42 of the Laeken conclusions and (ii) JHA proposals. 
Angela Eagle: The European Council meeting held at Laeken called for closer cooperation between services responsible for external border control and to examine the conditions in which a mechanism or common services to control external borders could be created. Responding to calls for a common policy on illegal immigration, the Spanish Presidency drafted an action plan on illegal immigration. The action plan was adopted at the February 2002 Justice and Home Affairs (JHA) Council. The United Kingdom welcomes the action plan as a basis for the European Union's future policy in illegal immigration.
The United Kingdom is supportive of closer cooperation between national border authorities of European Union member states, which we believe is vital in tackling the criminal networks responsible for human trafficking and illegal immigration.
We are also keen to examine ways in which the external border of the European Union can be strengthened. We are awaiting the European Commission's Communication on European Border management, which may shape future policy in this area.
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Mr. Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on his policy towards establishing a common European policy on immigration and asylum, with reference to the conclusions of the Laeken Summit. 
Angela Eagle: The conclusions of the European Council meeting held at Laeken identified areas in which further work is needed in order to progress towards a common European policy on asylum and immigration. The commitment made at Tampere to establish a common European asylum system is a top priority for the United Kingdom (UK). The treaty of Amsterdam committed member states to a broad range of measures designed to establish minimum standards for asylum procedures and policies across the Union within five years. The UK is participating actively in this process and has opted into all measures to date. We judge there are significant potential long-term benefits for the UK in terms of levelling the playing field across the Union.
The European Council meeting held at Laeken also called for closer cooperation between services responsible for external border control and to examine the conditions in which a mechanism or common services to control external borders could be created. Responding to calls for a common policy on illegal immigration, the Spanish Presidency drafted an action plan on illegal immigration. The action plan was adopted at the February 2002 Justice and Home Affairs (JHA) Council. The UK welcomes the action plan as a basis for the European Union's future policy in illegal immigration.
Mr. Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on his policy towards the establishment of a European network for the training of magistrates, as set out in Council Document 13416/2/01. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: I have been asked to reply. The Council document referred to was a discussion document prepared by the Belgian Presidency in November 2001. It has been superseded by the Presidency Conclusions of the European Council in Laeken held on 14 and 15 December 2001.
The European Judicial Training Network (EJTN) is a network of the national institutions responsible for judicial training in the Member States of the European Union, set up by the institutions themselves. The Judicial Studies Board (which has responsibility for the training of Judges in England and Wales) has been a member since its establishment in October 2000.
The Laeken conclusions refer to a proposal made by the French Government in December 2000 to put the Network on a legal footing, enabling it to receive financial and administrative support from the European Commission. No discussions of this proposal are scheduled at present.
Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many nominations the agency dealing with victims has received for Charter Mark awards. 
Mr. Leslie: I have been asked to reply.
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Charter Mark is primarily a customer focused improvement programme dependent on applications from interested organisations. We have no record of receiving any nominations in respect of the Victim Support Agency. Nominations would be welcomed and actively pursued with nominees to encourage a full application and assessment to be made.
Matthew Taylor: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, pursuant to his answer of 1 March 2002, ref. 38310, on public services productivity, which outside organisations have been consulted on the paper; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Andrew Smith: There has not been formal consultation with any outside body; but the Treasury take account of the wide range of views expressed publicly, as well as the advice of the Public Services Productivity Panel.
Matthew Taylor: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, pursuant to his answer of 1 March 2002, Official Report, column 1571W, on public services productivity, how many officials in the Treasury are working (a) full-time and (b) part-time on the paper; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Andrew Smith: A number of Treasury officials are contributing to the paper.
Matthew Taylor: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, pursuant to his answer of 27 February 2002, Official Report, column 1326W, on public service agreements, what the name of each team mentioned is; how many people are in each team; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Andrew Smith: The 13 departmental teams, and the number of people in each team, are as follows.
|Team||Number of people|
|Defence, Diplomacy and Intelligence||13|
|Devolved Countries and Regions||10|
|Education, Training and Culture||15|
|Home and Legal||17|
|Housing and Urban||11|
|Environment, Food and Rural Affairs||16|
|International Poverty Reduction||13|
|Work and Pensions||12|
The central team, General Expenditure Policy, employs 25 staff. While there are around 180 staff in these teams, not all the people concerned have responsibility for PSA monitoring.
13 Mar 2002 : Column 1109W
Matthew Taylor: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many people are employed by his Department in each of the units listed on pages 10 and 11 of HM Treasury's 2001 departmental report; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Andrew Smith: The information is as follows:
Public Services (PSD)198
Corporate Services and Development (CSD)189
Budget and Public Finance (BPF)98
Financial Regulation and Industry (FRI)119
Financial Management and Reporting and Audit (FMRA)54
Macroeconomic Policy and International Finance (MPIF)168.
Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer when HM Customs and Excise first acted to stop the export of second-hand and reconditioned fridges; on what grounds; and after what consultation with the exporters. 
Mr. Boateng: EC Regulation 2037/2000 came into force with effect from 1 October 2000. It covers a wide range of controls in the trading of ozone depleting substances (ODSs), including a ban on the exportation of fridges and freezers containing CFCs in the refrigerant gases and foam insulation. However, following representations from the second-hand fridge export industry for further time to adapt to the change, the Government suspended operation of the ban on exports in November 2000. The ban was reintroduced in respect of fridges containing CFCs in the refrigerant gases and the foam insulation from 1 January 2001 and 1 January 2002 respectively.
Gillian Merron: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will make a statement on the record of Her Majesty's Customs and Excise in preventing illegal drugs entering the United Kingdom in each of the past three years. 
Mr. Boateng: Customs' performance in preventing illegal drugs entering the UK is monitored against the targets set out in their Public Service Agreement and reported in their departmental annual reports.
Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how the global sum of capital expenditure on public services, as a proportion of gross national product, is calculated in respect of sums provided under schemes of public-private partnership, in calculations made by the European Commission when issuing warnings and infraction communications to member states, indicating the treaty and legislative basis for distinctions in the source of capital and revenue expenditure. 
Mr. Andrew Smith: The calculations made by the European Commission are from national accounts produced by national statistical offices according to the rules of the European System of Accounts 1995 (ESA95).
13 Mar 2002 : Column 1110W
Annex ll of ESA95 explains how to record capital expenditure when the public sector leases from the private sector. Chapter 2 explains how to determine whether a business is in the public or private sector. The legislative bases for the calculations are Council Regulation (EC) No 2223/96 of 25 June 1996 on the European system of national and regional accounts in the Community; and Council Regulation (EC) No 3605/93 of 22 November 1993 on the application of the Protocol on the excessive deficit procedure annexed to the Treaty establishing the European Community.
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