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Elephants and Tigers: Conservation

Lord Lucas asked Her Majesty's Government:

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The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for the Environment and Transport (Baroness Hayman): We are committed to promoting the conservation of these species, particularly through the United Kingdom's membership of IUCN (the World conservation union) and international wildlife agreements. We will work closely with other countries to that end. Where wild animals pose a threat to local communities, it is for the countries concerned to decide how best to respond in the light of the circumstances and their policies for protecting people, wildlife and livestock. These issues are currently subject to negotiations at the CITES conference in Harare. The United Kingdom has provided financial support for the conservation of elephants and the tigers through contributions provided by the Department of the Environment.

The Department for International Development (DFID) provides support to departments in several developing countries, responsible for wildlife, forests and conservation, and for community based development programmes, to help them and the communities they serve better manage and benefit from their wildlife resources. DFID also works with many non-governmental organisations engaged in conservation and development work.

Eurostar Sleeper Trains

Lord Berkeley asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether the Eurostar night sleeper trains are likely to enter service, and if so on what routes, and with which operator(s); and

    What plans there are for the disposal of the Eurostar night sleeper trains in the event of their not being used for the cross-Channel sleeper services for which they were built.

Baroness Hayman: These are matters for the operators, European Night Services Ltd. I understand that the company is conducting a commercial review of these services.

Lord Berkeley asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether in respect of the Eurostar night sleeper trains, they will state who ordered them and when, who funded their construction, their likely completion date and their current ownership.

Baroness Hayman: This rolling stock was ordered by European Night Services Ltd. (ENS), a joint venture company comprising Eurostar (UK) Ltd., SNCF, DB and NS. At the time the stock was ordered, Eurostar (UK) Ltd. (then known as European Passenger Services Ltd.) was a subsidiary of the British Railways Board. Construction of the stock is being funded by way of a commercial lease. The

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completion date is a contractual matter for ENS and the manufacturers, Metro Channel. ENS still has the same shareholders but Eurostar (UK) Ltd. has now been transferred to London and Continental Railways Ltd. as part of the Channel Tunnel rail link project.

Water Summit Action Plan: Response Date

Lord Beaumont of Whitley asked Her Majesty's Government:

    On what date the water companies are due to submit their proposals for water conservation following the water summit; whether these proposals will then be published; and if not, why not.

Baroness Hayman: My right honourable friend the Deputy Prime Minister has asked water companies to respond by 13 June to the 10 point action plan presented at the water summit. Her Majesty's Government will publish an analysis of the responses. Copies of the responses will be placed in the Libraries of both Houses.

Micheldever Station, Hants.

Lord Lucas asked Her Majesty's Government:

    When they expect to announce a decision on the application to build a new town at Micheldever Station, Hampshire.

Baroness Hayman: I understand that there is no current planning application for major new development at Micheldever Station. The option of making provision in the Hampshire Structure Plan (Review) for a new settlement at this location is referred to in the report made to the county council by the panel appointed to consider representations on the deposited plan and to conduct an examination in public into selected matters. It is for the county council, jointly with the two unitary authorities of Portsmouth and Southampton, to decide how to respond to the panel's recommendations.

Salisbury Bypass Proposal

Lord Lucas asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they consider that most of the traffic improvements posited for the new Salisbury bypass could be achieved by a programme of improvements to existing roads.

Baroness Hayman: Various alternatives to the proposed Salisbury bypass were considered during the 1993/94 public inquiry, including improvement of the existing A.36. We will consider these, together with all other relevant matters, when we come to take a final decision on the bypass.

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Decriminalised Parking Enforcement

Lord Berkeley asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they will list those local authorities which have adopted decriminalised parking enforcement, and those from whom they have received applications.

Baroness Hayman: All local authorities in London had taken on decriminalised parking enforcement powers, under the provisions of the Road Traffic Act 1991, by July 1994.

The 1991 Act also provided for traffic authorities outside London to apply to the Secretary of State for orders conferring similar powers. Three such orders have been made to date, covering Winchester, Oxford and North Hinksey and High Wycombe town centre. One application, from Kent County Council on behalf of Maidstone District Council, is under consideration.

European Union: Forthcoming Business

Lord Peston asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they will detail the forthcoming business in the Council of the European Union for June, and to list major EU events for the next six months.

Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean: Details are shown below. Monthly Forecast of Business for June 1997

The following Councils are scheduled:

June 2-3General Affairs Council
June 5Health Council
June 5Development Council
June 9Ecofin Council
June 10General Affairs Council (tbc)
June 12Social Affairs Council
June 16-17European Council
June 17-18Transport Council
June 19-20Environment Council
June 23-25Agriculture Council
June 26Education Council
June 26General Affairs Council
June 27Energy Council
June 27Telecommunications Council
June 30Culture Council

The following subjects are likely to be discussed: June 2-3: General Affairs Council

    Approval of list of A points.

    EP Resolutions of 23-24 April and 12-16 May. Preparation of European Council in Amsterdam (Procedural Point). Trade issues: Council Declaration on market access for least developed countries. Leghold Traps. Racism and Xenophobia Monitoring Centre.

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    Transatlantic Relations: Report on EU/US Summit. EU/Japan Summit (Information Point). EU/Hong Kong: After 1997: Council Conclusions. OCT Mid-Term Review. Former Yugoslavia. Albania. Middle East Peace Process (possible item). Any other business. June 5: Health Council Adoption of the provisional agenda. Adoption of the list of A points. Communicable diseases network: common position. EU/US Task Force on communicable diseases. Draft Resolution on human organs and tissues. Draft Resolution on migrant doctors within the European Union. Draft Conclusions on health aspects of the drug problem. TSEs: orientation debate. Blood and blood products: follow-up to the Council Resolution of 12 November 1996. Commission Communication on combatting tobacco consumption: orientation debate. Commission proposals for programmes on rare diseases, pollution related diseases and accidents and injuries: presentation by the Commission. Future framework for action public health: orientation debate. Any other business: Promotion of mental health (request by the Finnish Delegation). Health safety of medical equipment (request by the French delegation). June 5: Development Council EU/ACP relations: Future EU relations with the developing countries of Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific; Democratisation, rule of law and human rights in the ACP countries; Commission communication on support for structural adjustment and debt relief in heavily indebted ACP countries. Conclusions on indigenous peoples (false B point). Follow-up to 1992 Horizon 2000 declaration: Resolution on coherence (false B point); Conclusions on operational coherence (false B point). Resolution on research and technological development in relation with the EU's development co-operation policy (false B point).

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    Resolution on the Joint Evaluation of Programme Food Aid (A point). Conclusions on the Court of Auditors' report concerning the Humanitarian Aid of the European Union (A point). Proposal for a Council regulation on NGO cofinancing: adoption of common position. Follow-up to Social Summit: Commission presentation. Any other business: Report on co-operation with Asia and Latin America (ALA) developing countries from 1991-95; Reform of the UN organisations in the economic and social spheres. Follow-up to Development Assistance Committee (DAC) on EC aid. June 9: ECOFIN Council Approval of the agenda. Approval of the list of A items. Preparation of stage III of EMU: Stability Pact, legal framework for the euro, resolution on ERM II. Implementation of Broad Economic Guidelines 1996. Draft Broad Economic Guidelines 1997. Euro Coins: technical characteristics and design. Interim report on Employment. Progress report on SEM 2000. Fraud: Commission work programme 1997-98, Fight against Fraud report 1996. Derogations on mineral oils excise duties. Preparation of Luxembourg Presidency. Preparation of Structured Dialogue with CEEC and Baltic Ministers. Any Other Business: Settlement Finality Directive. June 10: General Affairs Council Council not yet confirmed. June 12: Social Affairs Council

    Adoption of the agenda.

    Approval of the list of A points (possible item). Proposal for a Council Directive on the burden of proof in cases of discrimination based on sex. Proposal for a Council Directive on the protection of the health and safety of workers from the risks related to chemical agents at work. Interim 1997 joint report on employment for the Amsterdam European Council. Follow-up to the French memorandum on a European Social model. Commission communication on modernising and improving social protection in the European Union.

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    Final report by the working party of experts on European systems of worker involvement (with regard to the European Company Statute and other pending proposals). Industrial restructuring and informing and consulting workers at community level. Social Dialogue. Any Other Business: Commission report on access to continuing training in the Union; Implementation of the European Social Fund Budget. June 16-17: European Council Agenda not yet available. June 17-18: Transport Council Directive on safety assessment of third country aircraft: political agreement. Air Traffic Management: debate and Council conclusions. European Aviation Safety Authority: debate and Council conclusions. Directive on Heavy Goods Vehicle taxation, charging and tolls: political agreement. Amending Regulation on tachographs: common position. Road telematics: Council conclusions. Trans-European Rail Freight Freeways: possible conclusions. Road Safety: debate and conclusions. Amending Directive on Seafarer Training: common position. Directive on registration of ferry passengers: common position. Maritime external relations, including proposed mandates for negotiations with India and China: debate based on questionnaire. Short Sea Shipping: Council conclusions. Any other business: Duty Free Sales: statement by Finland; Week-end lorry bans: statement by Netherlands; EU/US Aviation negotiations: Commission Report; Aviation negotiations with Central and Eastern European Countries: Commission Report; TENs and public, private partnerships: Commission Report. June 19-20: Environment Council Agenda not yet available.

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    June 23-25: Agriculture Council Agricultural price fixing. Arable penalties. EU/Czech veterinary equivalence agreement (possible item). EU/US veterinary equivalence agreement (possible item). Quality beef promotion (possible item). Apple, pear, peach and nectarine tree grubbing up scheme (possible item). Hops (possible item). Farm Accountancy Data Network (possible item). Italian state aid for co-operatives (possible item). Export refund/animal welfare linkage (possible item). Pesticide maximum residue levels (possible item). Hormones--WTO panel (possible item). Potato brown rot (possible item). June 26: Education Council Adoption of a common position on a Commission proposal to increase the budget of the SOCRATES education programme. Adoption of Council Conclusions on safety at school. Adoption of Council Conclusions on information and communication technology (ICT) and teacher training. Adoption of Council Conclusions on the Commission White Paper "Teaching and Learning: Towards the Learning Society". Commission presentation on a forthcoming draft Recommendation on quality assurance in higher education. Open Ministerial debate on the Commission Green Paper on Barriers to Student, Trainee and Researcher Mobility. Discussion of a Dutch paper on regional languages. Discussion of socio-economic research under the new 5th Research and Development Framework Programme. June 26: General Affairs Council

First draft agenda--likely to change. Follow-up to the European Council at Amsterdam. Former Yugoslavia. Middle East Peace Process. Relations with Andorra. Mediterranean Policy. Relations with Albania. Relations with Yemen. Relations with Turkmenistan. Relations with Switzerland.

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June 27: Energy Council Agenda not yet known. June 27: Telecommunications Council Commission communication on a European Union Action Plan for satellite communications in the Information Society: Council conclusions. Commission communication regarding the consultation on the Green Paper on a Numbering Policy for Telecommunications Services in Europe: Council resolution. Proposal for a Council and European Parliament Directive on communications terminal equipment: orientation debate. Commission communication on progress in implementing the telecommunications regulatory framework by 1 January 1988: Commission report and exchange of views. Commission communication on further developments in mobile and cordless communications in Europe: Commission presentation. June 30: Culture Council Agenda not yet known.

This calendar is primarily concerned with European Union matters, but certain other relevant events are also included. Events and dates quoted are based on the information available on the date of issue.

European Calendar: June-November 1997

June 1997
2-3LuxembourgGeneral Affairs Council (and IGC Ministerial)
5LuxembourgHealth Council
5LuxembourgDevelopment Council
9LuxembourgEcofin Council
9-13StrasbourgEuropean Parliament Plenary
10LuxembourgGeneral Affairs Council (tbc)
12LuxembourgSocial Affairs Council
16-17AmsterdamEuropean Council
17-18LuxembourgTransport Council
19-20LuxembourgEnvironment Council
20-22DenverG7 Summit
23-25LuxembourgAgriculture Council
24BrusselsPolitical Committee
25-26BrusselsEuropean Parliament Plenary
26LuxembourgEducation Council
26LuxembourgGeneral Affairs Council
27LuxembourgEnergy Council
27LuxembourgTelecommunications Council
30LuxembourgCulture Council
July 1997
1LuxembourgPresidency begins
3LuxembourgVisit by Commission
4-5EchternachLabour and Social Affairs Council (Informal) (tbc)
7BrusselsEcofin Council
10-11LuxembourgPolitical Committee
14-18StrasbourgEuropean Parliament Plenary
22BrusselsAgriculture Council
22-23BrusselsGeneral Affairs Council
24BrusselsBudget Council
26?Possible European Council
August 1997
There are no events scheduled for August.
September 1997
4BrusselsPolitical Committee
7-9EchternachAgriculture Council (Informal)
12-14MondorfEcofin Council (Informal)
15-16BrusselsGeneral Affairs Council
15-19StrasbourgEuropean Parliament Plenary
22New YorkPolitical Committee
22-23BrusselsAgriculture Council
29BrusselsPolitical Committee (reserve date--tbc)
October 1997
1-2BrusselsEuropean Parliament Plenary
2LuxembourgTelecommunications Council
3-4EchternachInternal Market Council (Informal)
6-7LuxembourgGeneral Affairs Council
7LuxembourgSocial Affairs Council
9LuxembourgTransport Council
9-10EchternachJustice and Home Affairs Council (Informal)
10-11StrasbourgCouncil of Europe Summit
13LuxembourgEcofin Council
16BrusselsPolitical Committee
16-17LuxembourgPossible European Council
16 or 26LuxembourgEnvironment Council (tbc)
20-21LuxembourgPolitical Committee
20-21LuxembourgAgriculture Council
20-24StrasbourgEuropean Parliament Plenary
23LuxembourgEnvironment Council
25-26MondorfForeign Ministers (Informal)
30LuxembourgFisheries Council
November 1997
3BrusselsConsumer Council
3BrusselsPolitical Committee
5-6BrusselsEuropean Parliament Plenary
10BrusselsResearch Council
13BrusselsIndustry Council
17BrusselsEcofin Council
17BrusselsPolitical Committee
17-18BrusselsAgriculture Council
17-21StrasbourgEuropean Parliament Plenary
19BrusselsFisheries Council (tbc)
20BrusselsEducation Council
21BrusselsBudget Council
24BrusselsCulture Council
24-25BrusselsGeneral Affairs Council
27BrusselsInternal Market and Development Council

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