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Acts of Parliament (Internet Access)

Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will take stepsto make all Acts of Parliament published before 1988 for which his Department is responsible available on-line. [3718]

Mr. Straw: The Controller of Her Majesty's Stationery Office (HMSO) within the Cabinet Office is the Queen's Printer of Acts of Parliament, and responsible for the publication of Acts of Parliament. HMSO has considered the publication of Acts prior to 1988, which is the earliest date when these were available electronically, but has decided not to do so as many have been heavily amended and to publish them in their original form would be misleading for many users. The Government are, however, taking forward development of a Statue Law Database which will contain the fully revised and updated text of all legislation from 1275. It is expected that this will be made available to the general public during 2006.

Departmental Budget

Kate Hoey: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how much of the budget for 2004–05 for public-facing activities has been spent to date, broken down by activity; and what future activities are planned. [1805]

Mr. Douglas Alexander: The budget for 2004–05 for EU presidency related public-facing activities was fully spent. The work undertaken included the creation of a presidency identity, designing presidency information materials and recruiting media relations and marketing support to communicate presidency priorities to the public from July to December 2005. In respect of future
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activities, I refer my hon. Friend to the reply I gave my hon. Friend the Member for Glasgow, South-West (Mr. Davidson) on 9 June 2005, Official Report, column 663W.

Kate Hoey: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs at what level the budget for public-facing activity for 2005–06 has been set, broken down by activity, and what sums have been allocated to each (a) activity and (b) budget line. [1806]

Mr. Douglas Alexander: I refer my hon. Friend to the reply I gave on 9 June 2005, Official Report, column 663W to my hon. Friend the Member for Glasgow, South-West (Mr. Davidson).

Departmental Union Representation

Mr. Jenkins: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many trade union learning representatives there are in his Department. [3311]

Mr. Straw: None. There have been no requests from trade unions in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office for this facility.

EU Directives

John Hemming: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many EU directives have been issued (a) in each month since 2000 and (b) in each year since 1975. [3729]

Mr. Douglas Alexander: Based on the Official Journal of the European Union (Directory of Community Legislation in force and other acts of the Community institutions, Volume II, as at 1 January 2004) the approximate numbers of EC directives which have been enacted each year since 1975 are:
Number of directives

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The number of directives adopted each month since 2000 is as follows:
Directives 2000–05


A number of the directives adopted since 1975 will have been amended or repealed. But the exact figure is not held by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and it would incur disproportionate cost to obtain it.

European Constitution

Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs which provisions of the Treaty establishing a constitution for Europe can be made (a) without that Treaty being ratified and (b) under existing European treaties. [3762]

Mr. Douglas Alexander [holding answer 13 June 2005]: I refer the hon. Member to my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary's statement to the House on 6 June 2005, Official Report, columns 991–92, on the EU Constitutional Treaty.

European Court of Justice

Mr. Brady: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will list those decisions of the European Court of Justice where the court have found an item of European Community legislation to be in breach of the principles of subsidiarity and proportionality; and if he will make a statement. [3275]

Mr. Douglas Alexander [holding answer 13 June 2005]: The European Court of Justice has not ruled that an item of European Community legislation is in breach of the principle of subsidiarity although arguments based on the principle have been advanced as the basis for striking down Community legislation in a number of cases, notably in C376/98 Germany v. European Parliament and Council [2000] European Court Report 1–8419.

There have however been many cases over the years where the Court has been presented with legal arguments on the principle of proportionality. The Court's website provides a list of officially reported cases which refer to the principle. Some of these references are to summaries of the parties' pleadings; some are in opinions of the Advocates General; and some are in judgments of the Court. Because of the number of references to the principle of proportionality, I am unable to provide a comprehensive analysis of the instances in which the Court has struck down Community legislation on this basis due to the disproportionate cost that would be involved. The list can be found at:
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Alternatively, a list of cases in which the Court dealt with legal questions on the principle of proportionality can be found in the 'Alphabetical Subject Matter' section of the Court's website ( under 'Principes generaux du droit communautaire'. The case references are under the heading 'Proportionnalite"'. This section is only available in French.

European External Action Service

Mr. Heathcoat-Amory: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what preparatory work has been carried out in relation to the European External Action Service. [2674]

Mr. Douglas Alexander: The preparatory work on the European External Action Service, as tasked by the October Intergovernmental Conference and the December European Council, has consisted of official level discussions and an issues paper" presented jointly by High Representative Solana and Commission President Barrosso. Discussions are at an early stage and no conclusions have been reached. The Commission and Council Secretariat have written a joint progress report on the official level discussion which the Government have placed in the Library of the House.

Falkland Islands (Fish Stocks)

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps the Government are taking to help maintain fish stocks in the seas surrounding the Falkland Islands. [2958]

Mr. Douglas Alexander: The Falkland Islands Government are responsible for the management and conservation offish stocks in the Falkland Islands Conservation Zones. Falkland Islands' fisheries legislation and policies establish a precautionary approach to the conservation, management and exploitation of fish stocks in Falklands' waters. A new draft Bill on Fisheries Conservation and Management, which is currently under consideration in the islands, contains provisions to strengthen this further. In parallel, the Falkland Islands Government operate an effective fisheries surveillance and enforcement regime to counter illegal fishing activities which represent a continuing threat to the conservation offish stocks in this region.

The UK Government take part in the South Atlantic Fisheries Commission, a bilateral body established by the UK and Argentine Governments to address the conservation of straddling and migratory fish stocks in the South West Atlantic, and which provides a mechanism for scientific co-operation aimed at conserving the principal fish species straddling Argentine and Falklands waters. The Commission meets biannually.

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