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The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Scotland of Asthal): The treaty establishing the European Community provides that, in areas which do not fall within its exclusive competence, the Community shall take action in accordance with the principle of subsidiarity only if the objectives cannot be sufficiently achieved by the member states.
The institutions of the Community are required by the Amsterdam Protocol on the Application of the Principles of Subsidiarity and Proportionality to ensure that the principle of subsidiarity is complied with.
It is not possible to specify the last three occasions on which the principle was applied. The institutions are required to apply it constantly. Its successful application means that often proposals for EC action are simply not brought forward.
The Commission prepares an annual report on the application of subsidiarity. Its last report, entitled Better Lawmaking 2000 and available in the Library of both Houses, provides specific examples of how the principle is put into practice.
Baroness Scotland of Asthal: In an enlarged EU it is not reasonable for one member state to hold up all the others wishing to proceed with enhanced co-operation, provided that the rigorous conditions for enhanced co-operation have been met. These provide that enhanced co-operation is open to all and that the single market is protected; and will help ensure that there is no development of an inner core.
In addition, the appeal clause we secured allows a member state to seek discussions by the European Council of a proposal for enhanced co-operation before any decision is taken. This is the right balance between the interests of member states and the benefits of greater flexibility in an enlarged EU.
Baroness Scotland of Asthal: We are concerned about the recent case of 19 people who have made allegations about rape and torture in police custody in Turkey. Our embassy in Ankara raised this case most recently on 23 March with the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs. We have not yet received a substantive response from the Turkish Government. Our consulate-general in Istanbul attended the first hearing on 21 March. We will continue to monitor this case closely.
Baroness Scotland of Asthal: We monitor closely the human rights situation in Turkey, including restrictions on freedom of expression. We have on a number of occasions raised concerns with the Turkish authorities. The European Commission also regularly publishes reports reviewing Turkey's progress towards meeting the criteria for EU membership (agreed at the 1993 Copenhagen European Council). The most recent report (November 2000) is available in the Library.
Baroness Scotland of Asthal: Throughout the crisis in Macedonia the UK has strongly supported the strenuous efforts of NATO and its Secretary General, Lord Robertson. We fully endorsed the Secretary General's statement of 21 March which called on all
Baroness Scotland of Asthal: From the outset of the crisis the UK has led efforts in the UN, EU and NATO to condemn the extremist violence in Macedonia. We drafted and supported UNSCR 1345 which made clear the international community's support for the Macedonian Government and the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Macedonia. Throughout the crisis British Ministers have been in close contact with Macedonian counterparts. On 5 April the Foreign Secretary visited Skopje to meet the Macedonian President, Prime Minister and Foreign Minister and leaders from the ethnic Albanian political parties.
Baroness Scotland of Asthal: The Treaty of Nice extends the list of matters in Article 137(1) to include the modernisation of social protection systems. This is limited to co-operation between member states (such as the exchange of information and best practice): the harmonisation of legislation is explicitly excluded.
New Article 144 provides a legal base for a non-legislative committee to monitor the development of social protection policies in the member states and to promote the exchange of information and experience between them. The establishment of the committee was agreed at the Lisbon European Council. This amendment merely gives it a formal legal base.
Baroness Amos: In the Financial Year ending 31 March 2001, DfID provided approximately £3 million in humanitarian assistance to northern Iraq for mines-affected communities, village rehabilitation for internally displaced and vulnerable women and children, physiotherapy for children with physical disabilities, social support for older persons, the development of a statistical capacity to assist the Kurdish administration in the planning of humanitarian aid policies, and an integrated water management programme, focusing on 2,500 families in 123 urban and rural communities. We are funding these projects through Save the Children Fund, ACORN, Kurdistan Children's Fund, Christian Aid/REACH, HelpAge International, 4RS, Durham University and Mines Advisory Group.
Lord McIntosh of Haringey: As I explained to the noble Lord in my reply on 3 April, the Government do not forecast the contribution of other member states on an annual basis. However, estimates have been produced for the net contribution of France and Italy in 2006. These are based on the assumption of only six new member states, and are at 1999 prices, and indicate that the net contribution of France will be around 5 per cent of the EC Budget and that of Italy
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