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Written Answers

Monday, 29th January 2001.

European Security and Defence Policy: English Translation

Lord Pearson of Rannoch asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether an English translation of the new European Security and Defence Policy has yet been agreed; and, if so, whether they will place a copy in the Library of the House, together with any annexes and appendices. [HL427]

The Minister of State, Ministry of Defence (Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean): The French Presidency Report to the Nice Council on the European Security and Defence Policy has been translated into English. I am placing a copy of the report in the Library of the House.

Depleted Uranium

Lord Currie of Marylebone asked Her Majesty's Government:

    When they intend to publish the commentary clarifying the Ministry of Defence's position on the risks of depleted uranium and certain related Ministry of Defence documents recently quoted by the media. [HL496]

Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean: The Ministry of Defence yesterday published a paper entitled Depleted Uranium--Documents explaining the Ministry of Defence position on the risks and health hazards. This demonstrates the Ministry of Defence's determination to be open and transparent on the matter. Copies of the paper have been placed in the Library of the House.

Sierra Leone Army: Training Programme

Lord Currie of Marylebone asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What plans they have for their contribution to the provision of training for the Sierra Leone Army.[HL497]

Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean: Since June 2000, British forces have provided short-term training to Sierra Leone. Some 6,500 members of the Sierra Leone Army (SLA) have been given basic infantry skills. The training programmes have gone well, with the SLA demonstrating its ability to strengthen control of government-held areas.

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To consolidate the achievements to date, provide more officer/NCO and specialist training and put the SLA in a position to train itself in future, we are planning a further package of training by British teams until September. This will prepare the way for handing over to the International Military Advisory and Training Team (IMATT), announced by the Prime Minister in March 2000, which will take on the continuing training task. Some six countries, including a sizeable British contingent, are expected to be represented in the IMATT. We plan to increase the IMATT's overall size from 90 posts originally envisaged to 126. This reflects a detailed assessment of what will be required to consolidate the excellent work that British forces will have achieved through the Short Term Training Teams. We also plan to maintain an operational Headquarters in Sierra Leone for the rest of the year, and to demonstrate, through periodic exercises, the availability of the over-the-horizon rapid reaction capability. These measures will increase the cost of our training and equipment programme by some £5 million.

These further measures demonstrate the Government's continuing commitment to help the Government of Sierra Leone and the UN to restore peace and stability throughout Sierra Leone.


Lord Shore of Stepney asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What are the principal military assets in terms of army divisions, war claims, heavy air transport and naval vessels that Britain and France, separately, have currently assigned to NATO.[HL385]

Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean: The United Kingdom has a number of Royal Navy, Army and Royal Air Force assets assigned to NATO, including our contributions to NATO's standing naval forces, the Allied Command Europe Rapid Reaction Corps, and the NATO Airborne Early Warning Force. The majority of the UK's other forces are either earmarked for NATO, or could be called upon for NATO operations as appropriate. France is not part of NATO's Integrated Military Structure, and therefore does not formally assign forces to the Alliance.

WEU Satellite Centre

Lord Shore of Stepney asked Her Majesty's Government:

    With reference to the Presidency Report to the Nice Council on European Union Security and Defence Policy, what is the purpose and nature of the Satellite Centre and its agencies which are to incorporate existing parallel Western European Union structures; and what will its relationship with NATO be.[HL406]

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Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean: Ministers at the WEU Ministerial Council in Marseille in November 2000 and at the Nice European Council in December 2000 decided to transfer the functions of the WEU Satellite Centre to the EU. This will take effect from 1 January 2002. The Satellite Centre, based at Torrejon in Spain, is an imagery analysis and training centre: it does not possess its own satellites and does not have subsidiary agencies. In the EU its primary role will be to provide interpretation of satellite and aerial images, acquired from external sources, to the Council of Ministers in support of the Common Foreign and Security Policy. Under the EU, as under the WEU, the Satellite Centre is unlikely to have a permanent formal relationship with NATO, but will be able to offer its services to a variety of customers including national governments and international organisations, such as NATO.

Employment Opportunities

Earl Russell asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Further to the Secretary of State for Education and Employment's statement (in the Observer of 14th January) that "jobs are there for the taking in most parts of the country", what percentage of the registered unemployed live in constituencies where unemployment is above (a) 10 per cent and (b) 8 per cent.[HL369]

The Minister of State, Department for Education and Employment (Baroness Blackstone): In December 2000, 8.5 per cent of all claimant unemployed people in the UK were in the 27 constituencies where the unemployment rate was above 10 per cent and 17 per cent were in the 62 constituencies where the unemployment rate was above 8 per cent.

There are new jobs coming up all the time, either in neighbouring areas which may be centres of employment opportunity or, indeed, in the constituencies themselves. The Government's welfare to work policies aim to match jobless people with these jobs.

Jean Monnet Chairs and Centres

Lord Shore of Stepney asked Her Majesty's Government:

    How many Jean Monnet Chairs and Jean Monnet Centres have been created in the universities of the United Kingdom; and where they are located.[HL357]

Baroness Blackstone: There are 102 Jean Monnet Chairs in the United Kingdom: 87 Chairs and 15 Chairs Ad Personam. There are 13 Jean Monnet European Centres of Excellence.

The Jean Monnet Chairs are located as follows:

    Four Chairs at the Universities of Leicester, Leeds, Queen's--Belfast;

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    Three Chairs at the Universities of Birmingham, Bath, Essex, Southampton, Strathclyde, Manchester;

    Two Chairs at the Universities of Bristol, Edinburgh, Cambridge, Aberdeen, London School of Economics, University of Wales--Cardiff, School of Slavonic and East European Studies--London, Sussex, Hull.

The following Universities have one chair:

    Lincolnshire and Humberside, Exeter, South Bank (London), Central Lancashire, Westminster, Aberystwyth, Kent, Queen Mary and Westfield College (London), Durham, Bradford, Sheffield, De Montfort, Thames Valley (London), York, Coventry, Paisley, Leeds Metropolitan, Lancaster, East Anglia, John Moores (Liverpool), Warwick, Kingston, Oxford, Northumbria, Liverpool, North London, Ulster (Coleraine), Glasgow, Loughborough, Reading, Portsmouth, Nottingham, Greenwich, Dundee, Newcastle upon Tyne, Salford, St Andrews, Glamorgan; Robert Gordon (Aberdeen). Chairs Ad Personam: Sussex, Kent, Essex, Ulster (Coleraine), Edinburgh, Royal Holloway (London), Glasgow, Lincolnshire and Humberside, Loughborough, Manchester Metropolitan, Manchester (2), Newcastle upon Tyne, Oxford, Plymouth. Jean Monnet European Centres of Excellence: Aberystwyth, Bath, Queen's (Belfast), Birmingham, Sussex, Essex, Kent, Glasgow, Hull, Leeds, London School of Economics, Loughborough, Newcastle upon Tyne. To note:

    (i) Projects are financed by the European Commission for the first three years; they must be taught for at least seven years;

    (ii) The Jean Monnet subsidy is given to the university (not to the professor); approval of choice of professor must be granted by the European Commission; should a professor leave the university, the Commission would need to approve the successor;

    (iii) Where universities have more than one chair, these will be in different disciplines--eg Political Sciences, Economics, European Law; in exceptional cases, there may be two Chairs, with different professors, where projects are of a very high standard;

    (iv) The majority of Jean Monnett Chairs correspond to the setting up of new teaching activities. A Chair Ad Personam allows Universities to allocate chairs to professors and senior lecturers who already devote 100 per cent of their teaching time to European integration issues, and would not therefore meet the criteria of providing new teaching activities. This relates particularly to professors in post at the time of the launch of the Jean Monnet Project in 1990.

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