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Mr. Malins: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs further to his answer of 20 June 2005, Official Report, column 734W, on bio-contamination, if he will list the Government research groups examining more effective methods of detecting potentially dangerous contaminants received through the post. 
Mr. Straw: The Scientific Development Branch of the Home Office is responsible for assessing commercially available equipment used for detecting potentially dangerous contaminants received through the post.
Mr. Brady: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what proposals have been advanced under the UK presidency of the EU, for the reform of the common fisheries policy; and what discussions Ministers and officials in his Department had on this subject at the General Affairs Council on 18and 19 July 2005. 
Mr. Douglas Alexander:
I refer the hon. Member to the White Paper entitled Prospects for the EU in 2005The UK presidency of the Union" presented to Parliament by my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary on 30 June 2005. A copy of the White Paper
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has been placed in the Library of the House. This sets out the UK presidency's plan for taking forward the EU fisheries negotiations. Fisheries was not discussed at the July General Affairs Council.
Mr. Douglas Alexander: The Government believe the Council of Europe has an important role to play in promoting and protecting human rights, pluralist democracy and the rule of law throughout its 46 European member states. It is unique in enforcing human rights via its Court and Conventions.
The Council of Europe has a continuing long-term role in helping new democracies establish the institutions needed to uphold common European values. We support the development of closer links with other international organisations, such as the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe and the EU.
The Government welcomed the outcome of the Council of Europe's Third Summit in May 2005. The Summit's Declaration reaffirmed that the Council of Europe will pursue its core objective of preserving and promoting human rights, democracy and the rule of law, and that all its activities must contribute to this fundamental objective. The Government fully endorses this.
Mr. Love: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent discussions he has had with the Government of Cyprus regarding the occupied part of the island; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Douglas Alexander: My right hon. Friends the Prime Minister and the Foreign Secretary met their Cypriot counterparts on 26 July 2005. They discussed a range of issues including prospects for a resumption of settlement negotiations, and measures to end the isolation of Turkish Cypriots.
Furthermore the Prime Minister and President Papadopoulos agreed in principle to set out a structured dialogue between our two countries to discuss matters of mutual interest in the EU, and the Cyprus problem. Our officials also regularly discuss all aspects of the Cyprus problem with their Cypriot counterparts.
Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how much (a) state and (b) EU aid (i) has been authorised and (ii) has been calculated as required to modernise the Bulgarian and Romanian (A) steel, (B) transport, (C) fisheries, (D) oil and (E) farm sectors, in the context of EU accession. 
Mr. Douglas Alexander: The EU provides extensive financial assistance to candidate countries via the Poland and Hungary Assistance for Restructuring of their Economies (PHARE), the Special Accession Programme for Agriculture and Rural Development (SAPARD) and the Instrument for Structural Policies for Pre Accession (ISPA) programmes, in order to help them meet the necessary EU standards and in line with the relevant pre-accession strategy for each country. PHARE provides assistance for projects in the field of implementation of the acquis, economic and social cohesion and cross-border co-operation. ISPA helps to finance environment and transport infrastructure. SAPARD provides assistance for projects in agriculture and rural development. EU funds are disbursed through annual project bids and the recipient countries are required to co-finance the projects agreed.
For the first three years after accession, a further €16billion has been earmarked for Bulgaria and Romania together. This will cover the same areas as PHARE, ISPA and SAPARD in the pre-accession period.
We do not maintain figures on the state aid provided by candidate countries to industry. Bulgaria and Romania will, under the terms of their Accession Treaty, be required to provide details of this within four months after accession.
Mike Penning: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will list the representatives to the EU Advisory Committee for theCo-ordination of Fraud Prevention; when the group last met; when it next plans to meet; whether it has addressed whistleblower cases; and what its work programme is. 
Mr. Douglas Alexander:
The EU Advisory Committee for the Co-ordination of Fraud Prevention is made up of delegations from each of the member states, and is chaired by the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF). Delegations' composition varies according to the subject matter discussed. The UK delegation normally includes a representative of HM Treasury's EU Finance Team. The Committee last met on 31 May 2005 and its next meeting is provisionally scheduled for 2526 October. The Committee normally meets about three to four times a year. Its work
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programme is set at short notice, in response to current issues. The Committee has never formally discussed whistleblower cases.
Mike Penning: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what the (a) role and (b) duties of (i) the Security Office of the General Secretariat of the Council and (ii) the European Commission Security Directorate are, with particular reference to powers over UK nationals; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Douglas Alexander: The role and duties of the Security Office of the General Secretariat of the Council are to protect persons, buildings, property, activities and classified information in the premises of the EU Council and of its General Secretariat. In pursuit of this role and in accordance with the Council Security Regulations, Security Office staff inspect and assess security arrangements and make recommendations to ensure that Council security is maintained. They also enforce the security rules in force on Council premises. The security rules apply to citizens of all countries working in, or visiting, Council premises. That includes UK citizens.
Full information about the Security Office's role is contained in the EU legislative acts which define the Security Office's mandate, Council Decision 2001/264/EC of 19 March 2001, and Council Secretary General/High Representative Decision 127/01 of 28 June 2001. The text of the Council Decision can be found in the Official Journal of the European Communities: L 101 of 11 April 2001, p. 10.
Mr. Douglas Alexander: The Foreign and Commonwealth Office network extends to hundreds of posts worldwide, including over 50 posts in the EU. All contract for services locally. Contracts are awarded in line with the UK's objective of achieving value for money and in line with EU Treaty obligations on transparency and free movement of goods and services. Compiling a full list of contractors based in other EU member states providing services to the department would incur disproportionate cost.
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