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Mr. Dismore: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will take steps to ensure that English wine is served (a) exclusively and (b) at the request of guests at receptions hosted by his Department during the EU presidency; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Douglas Alexander: My officials have included in their planning the provision of British food and wine at presidency-related receptions hosted by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office during the six months of the presidency. We are aiming to serve British food and wine wherever possible
Mr. Douglas Alexander: European Union institutions are responsible for their own activities. EU grants are awarded through a transparent call for proposals or through the EU budget which is available for public scrutiny. Further details can be obtained from the UK Representations of the European Union's Institutions, contact details of which can be found at www.europe.eu.int
Mr. Redwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether there are plans to increase the (a) budget and (b) staff of the Office of the President of the EU in 200506. 
Mr. Douglas Alexander: Advancing the Better Regulation Agenda is a priority during the UK presidency of the EU. We are committed to working with the Commission, European Parliament and member states, who have all pledged to reduce the volume and burden of EU legislation.
Last week, Commission President Barroso announced that the Commission is looking at over 200 pending proposals which may be amended or withdrawn if they are not consistent with Lisbon economic reform goals. During our presidency, we shall continue to contribute actively to both this initiative and the EU's ongoing programme for simplifying existing legislation.
Mr. Douglas Alexander [holding answer 4 July 2005]: I refer the hon. Member to the White Paper on the UK's Presidency of the European Union (Cm 6611). We are committed to working with other member states and the EU institutions to develop and share best practice on implementing the Better Regulation Agenda, including work on measuring administrative burdens as developed by the Dutch Government. In May, 11 member states, including the UK, signed a joint letter to the Commission pressing for further EU-level action in this area.
Mr. Douglas Alexander [holding answer 4 July 2005]: Progress on the Better Regulation Agenda is a priority for our EU presidency. I refer the hon. Member to the White Paper on the UK's Presidency of the European Union (Cm 6611) and to my reply to him today (UIN 8875).
Mr. Douglas Alexander
[holding answer 4 July 2005]: As presidency we will seek to take forward the inherited legislative agenda and make progress on a number of dossiers. Where negotiations in the Council and Parliament indicate that consensus on a particular dossier is possible, we will seek agreement. It is not possible to predict how many dossiers will be agreed at this stage. We will want to ensure that the Union's legislative action is consistent with the Better Regulation Agenda.
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Mr. Greg Knight: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what the total cost, including policing costs, was of the recent EU summit on Justice and Home Affairs held in Sheffield. 
Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will list individuals subject to an EU travel ban who have been permitted entry into the EU in the last three years. 
Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will list those countries that have declared that they will continue the ratification process for the EU constitution. 
Mr. Douglas Alexander: Belgium, Luxembourg, Malta, Cyprus, Estonia and the Czech Republic intend to proceed with their ratification processes for the EU constitutional treaty. The Irish Government have announced that they will not set a date for their referendum. Poland have not decided how, if at all, to proceed with ratification and the Polish President has said that a referendum in 2005 looks unrealistic". The Swedish Government have announced that it will seek to postpone its parliamentary ratification process and the Finnish Government have already postponed parliamentary ratification. The Danish and Portuguese Governments have postponed their referendums.
Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the consequences under Article IV-443(4) of the proposed EU constitution of 20 countries ratifying the constitution. 
Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on planned expenditure in support of the public information campaign in connection with the European constitution. 
Mr. Douglas Alexander:
In line with previous activity, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office leads the Government's campaign to provide public information in connection with the European Union. Apart from
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those relating to the UK's presidency of the EU, no final decisions have yet been made on general EU communications activities for financial year 200506.
Ms Abbott: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what role the Government will play in supporting efforts to hold free and fair elections in Haiti; and whether the Government are planning to send representatives with the EU election observing team to be present during the elections. 
Mr. Douglas Alexander: We are contributing to the international community's efforts to assist the Transitional Government in providing the necessary conditions for free and fair elections in late 2005. The UK contributes 7.43 per cent. of the assessed budget for the UN Stabilisation Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH)likely to be around £20 million in 200506. We supported the recent renewal and strengthening of MINUSTAH's mandate until February 2006, with an increase in troop numbers of approximately 750 over the election period. The European Commission plans to send an observation mission to Haiti in late 2005, but has yet to announce the make-up of that mission. The UK puts forward potential observers for all EU election observation missions.
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