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£300,000 to Wilton Park conferences on European issues (Europe Directorate Programme Budget, Global Opportunities Fund and Global and Economic Issues Programme Budget); and
£18,000 to a Chatham House Conference on EU-China interdependencies on climate change and energy (Global and Economic Issues Directorate Programme Budget and Central Unit Programme Budget).
Separately, think tanks, youth groups or campaigning groups may apply for funding from the FCO Global Opportunities Fund Reuniting Europe Programme, for projects that support countries in the
EU integration process in their efforts to meet the Copenhagen Criteria, particularly in the fields of improved governance and economic growth. Such organisations may also be involved in activity funded by embassies and consulates throughout Europe in line with their post objectives and the FCOs strategic priorities.
Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many (a) civil servants, (b) public officials and (c) special advisers have been invited on information and study trips hosted by (i) the European Parliament and (ii) the European Commission since May 1997. 
However, both the Commission and the European Parliament organise visits. For example in 2006 the Commission organised 64 visits from the UK with a total of 1,852 participants, this included visits by civil servants, public officials and special advisers. Figures before 2006 are unavailable. The programmes are tailor-made according to the themes requested by the group and last between a half day and full day. The costs are provided for in the Commission budget.
Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what the objectives are of the EU Information and Communication programmes for non-member countries (EU budget item 22 04 02); what input her Department has to decisions on the allocation of funding; and if she will make a statement. 
broad and sustained public support [for enlargement], which should also be promoted through greater transparency and better communication.
This budget line funds communication activities on enlargement by the Commission regarding candidate and potential candidate countries. The objective is to enhance support for enlargement, the association and stabilisation processes. It aims to strengthen EU visibility in those countries and generate public support for the reform process during the accession and pre-accession periods. Target groups include the general public, youth, media, opinion leaders and rural population. Further information can be found on the Commission's website at:
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what conferences have been held in the UK on the future of the EU
Constitution funded by (a) the EU and (b) the Government. 
Mr. Hoon: Since the French and Dutch referendums on the Constitutional treaty in May and June 2005, there have been two conferences at Wilton Park funded by the Government with a focus on the future of Europe, including the Constitutional treaty.
The Enlarged European Union One Year On: Political, Constitutional and Economic Challenges 4-7 July 2005; and
Which way Forward for the European Union?: Political and Constitutional Challenges 6-8 February 2006.
Details can be found on the Wilton Park website at www.wiltonpark.org
The representations of the European Commission and the European Parliament in the UK have organised a range of activities on EU issues. The Government have not worked with the EU institutions to organise any conferences on the future of the Constitutional treaty in this period.
Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what conferences have been held in Brussels funded by (a) the EU and (b) the UK Government on the future of the EU Constitution. 
Mr. Hoon: The EU Institutions have organised a range of activities on EU issues in Brussels including an inter-parliamentary conference at the European Parliament on 8 May 2006. The Government have not worked with the EU Institutions to organise any conferences on the future of the EU Constitutional treaty in this period.
Since the French and Dutch referendums on the Constitutional treaty in May and June 2005, there have been no conferences held in Brussels directly funded by the Government on the future of the EU Constitutional treaty.
Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what consultants the European Commission employs to provide advice on (a) public relations and (b) information campaigns. 
Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what funding streams are available to the UK Permanent Representation to the European Union for (a) hosting and (b) sponsoring (i) events and (ii) organisations locally, under the offices own management and authorisation; what monitoring of spending takes place; and if she will make a statement. 
All Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) missions, including the UK Permanent Representation to the EU, have funds for hosting events in support of their objectives. Management of
those funds is in accordance with FCO regulations and financial procedures, which include audit and monitoring. Funds for sponsoring events or organisations are provided to some missions to support strategic priorities, but such funds are not provided to the UK Permanent Representation to the EU.
Mr. Hands: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (1) what recent assessment she has made of (a) the human rights situation in Khazakhstan and (b) the imprisonment of Mahambet Abzhan and Azamat Zheteisbayev; and if she will make a statement; 
(2) if she will instruct the UKs Ambassador to Kazakhstan to visit Mahambet Abzhan and Asamat Zhetpisbayev to assess (a) the conditions in which they are being held and (b) the manner in which they are being treated. 
Mr. Hoon: We welcome the steps that the Government of Kazakhstan has taken on human rights and democratic reform since independence. These include a moratorium on the death penalty, progress on prison reform including reduction of the number of persons in detention and the introduction of public monitoring of places of detention, and in December 2005 ratification of the UN International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.
Political pluralism has, however, been affected negatively by recent legislation which restricts freedom of expression, association and assembly. The powers of the Parliament and Government and the independence of the judiciary could be further enhanced to introduce checks and balances into the system of administration. In December 2005, the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europes (OSCE) Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights International Observation Mission noted that despite some administrative improvements, the presidential election did not meet international standards.
Wherever possible, we look to work with the Kazakh authorities to improve the human rights situation. We have funded projects aimed at improving the conditions in prisons, preventing torture in places of detention and encouraging the abolition of the death penalty. We have continuing dialogue with the Government of Kazakhstan on transparency issues and are working closely with non-governmental organisations on this too. We also stand ready to work with President Nazarbayev on his programme of democratic reforms.
The OSCE has looked into the cases of Makhambet Abzhan and Azamat Zhetpisbayev and attended several of the related court hearings. We, with the OSCE and the EU, will keep a watching brief on both cases in view of the importance of respect for human rights and good governance in Kazakhstan.
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs which non-governmental think tanks and organisations working in the domain
of European Communities affairs have received financial support from her Department in the last 12 months. 
German British Forum;
International Journalist Programme;
College of Europe;
British Association for Central and Eastern Europe; and
Birmingham University Contemporary European Studies course.
In addition a number of organisations have received financial support to deliver capacity building activities in countries and regions that are beneficiaries of the FCO's Global Opportunities Fund Re-Uniting Europe Programme. A full list of the organisations and projects funded and financial support provided is available on the FCO website at:
Mrs. James: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent assessment she has made of (a) the political situation in (b) international relations with and (c) human rights in Zambia; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. McCartney: Zambia held elections at presidential, national assembly and local government level in September 2006. As my noble Friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, Lord Triesman of Tottenham, said on 3 October 2006, we believe that they were conducted in a free and fair manner, and that Zambia had set a strong example to other Southern African Development Community (SADC) countries by conduct of the elections. The political situation in Zambia remains stable.
Zambia has signed 16 of the International Conventions on human rights. We are encouraging the further enforcement and implementation of these. With our EU partners we continue to press for the abolition of the death penalty. President Mwanawasa has declared that he will not allow executions to take place during his tenure of office. We welcome the positive contributions Zambia has made within the UN Human Rights Council, including on Sudan.
Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what recent estimate she has made of the earliest gestational age at which an unborn child may be capable of being born alive; when her Department last undertook an evidence review on the issue that drew on (a) UK and (b) international research; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Ivan Lewis: While there continue to be medical advances in caring for premature babies, it is very rare for babies born at 22 weeks gestation or under to survive. Data from the 1995 EPICure Study, which followed infants born between 20 and 25 weeks of gestation, found that only 1 per cent. of babies born at 22 weeks of gestation survived to six years of age. A second EPICure study, due to report later this year, will show whether survival rates have changed since 1995.
Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what her Departments policy is on (a) abortion and (b) assisted suicide; which organisations and individuals she has consulted about each policy; and if she will make a statement. 
Caroline Flint: Parliament has decided that abortions may lawfully be carried out in the circumstances specified in the Abortion Act 1967, as amended by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 1990.
The Department most recently set out its policy on sexual health, including abortion, in the National Strategy for Sexual Health and HIV in 2001, and associated documents. In addition, recommended quality standards for the provision of abortion services are included in Recommended Standards for Sexual Health Services, published in 2005. The strategy and the standards document were subject to a public consultation exercise.
Assisting a person in committing suicide is unlawful under the Suicide Act 1961 and is subject to a penalty of up to 14 years imprisonment. The Government have no plans to change this legislation. Any proposals to change the law would be dealt with as a matter of conscience.
Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what research has been (a) commissioned and (b) evaluated by her Department on abortions performed on grounds of handicap in (a) NHS hospitals and (b) non-NHS hospitals where the unborn child was subsequently found to be without disability or handicap; and if she will make a statement. 
The Department has not commissioned or evaluated research on abortions
performed on the grounds of foetal abnormality where the unborn child was subsequently found not to have an abnormality.
Mr. Holloway: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate has been made of the likely savings which would result from the closure of the accident and emergency department in Maidstone Hospital. 
Mr. Burrowes: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what percentage the £15 million earmarked to improve alcohol interventions in 2007-08 represents of the total uplift in revenue for primary care trusts (PCTs) for that year; and how much of that funding each PCT has received. 
Caroline Flint: The 2006-07 and 2007-08 primary care trust (PCT) revenue allocations separately identify £342 million funding in support of public health initiatives, including £15 million for alcohol interventions in 2007-08. £15 million is 0.25 per cent. of the £6 billion uplift in 2007-08 PCT allocations. PCTs have been encouraged to invest additional funding to improve their local arrangements for commissioning and delivering alcohol treatment services based on local need.
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