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European Union: Forthcoming Council Business

Lord Brookman asked Her Majesty's Government:

6 Feb 2003 : Column WA50

The Minister for Trade (Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean): Forthcoming business in the Council of the European Union, February 2003 to August 2003:


5—Brussels—Meeting of the Presidium

6–7—Brussels—Convention Plenary

10–11—Brussels—Agriculture & Fisheries Council

13—Brussels—Meeting of the Presidium

17—Brussels—EUROGROUP (evening)


20—Brussels—Education Youth & Culture Council (to be confirmed)

22—Thessaloniki—Energy Council (Ministerial Informal)

24–25—Brussels—General Affairs & External Relations Council

24–25—Brussels—Agriculture & Fisheries Council

26—Brussels—Meeting of the Presidium

27–28—Brussels—Convention Plenary

27–28—Brussels—Justice & Home Affairs Council

28—Brussels—Employment, Social Policy, Health & Consumer Affairs Council

1–2AthensInformal Education
3BrusselsCompetitiveness Council
4BrusselsEnvironment Council
6BrusselsMeeting of the Presidium
6LuxembourgEmployment, Social Policy, Health & Consumer Affairs Council
6LuxembourgEUROGROUP (evening)
7LuxembourgTransport, Telecom & Energy Council
13BrusselsMeeting of the Presidium
14–15Athens(Informal Defence Meeting)
17–18BrusselsConvention Plenary
17–18LuxembourgAgriculture & Fisheries Council
18–19LuxembourgGeneral Affairs & External Relations Council
21BrusselsEuropean Council
27BrusselsMeeting of the Presidium
27–28LuxembourgTransport, Telecom & Energy Council)
27–28AthensEU-Rio Group, EU-MERCOSUR
28–29VeriaInformal Justice & Home Affairs (Veria)
31BrusselsAgriculture & Fisheries Council
(to be confirmed)
2BrusselsMeeting of the Presidium
3–4BrusselsConvention Plenary
4BrusselsJustice & Home Affairs
4–6Hania (Crete)Informal ECOFIN (Ministerial)
5LisbonEurope—Africa Summit
10BrusselsMeeting of the Presidium
14–15 LuxembourgGeneral Affairs & External Relations
14BrusselsAgriculture & Fisheries
16AthensSignature of the Accession Treaty
17AthensEuropean Conference
23BrusselsMeeting of the Presidium
24–25BrusselsConvention Plenary
2–4OlympiaGymnich (Informal Foreign Ministers)
3–4AthensInformal Environment (Ministerial Informal)
5–6BrusselsEducation, Youth & Culture Council (To be confirmed)
8BrusselsMeeting of the Presidium
10–13CorfuAgriculture (Ministerial Informal)
14BrusselsMeeting of the Presidium
14BrusselsTransport, Telecom & Energy Council
15–16BrusselsConvention Plenary
16BrusselsEU–ACP Ministerial
16–17HalkidikiInformal Regional Policy (Ministerial)
16–18Cruise off GreeceInformal Transport & Merchant Marine (Ministerial)
17Brussels EU–W. Balkans (Zagreb Process)
19BrusselsGeneral Affairs & External Relations (+ Defence)
20BrusselsGeneral Affairs & External Relations
22BrusselsMeeting of the Presidium
24ThessalonikiInformal Culture (Ministerial)
26–27BrusselsAgriculture & Fisheries Council
26–27CreteEUROMED Conference (Mid Term Ministerial)
27BrusselsEnvironment Council
28BrusselsMeeting of the Presidium
30–31BrusselsConvention Plenary
31St. PetersburgEU–Russia Summit
12–13AlexandroupoliDevelopment Co-operation (Ministerial Informal)
2–3BrusselsTransport, Telecom & Energy Council
4BrusselsMeeting of the Presidium
5–6BrusselsConvention Plenary
5–6BrusselsJustice & Home Affairs Council
5–6BrusselsEmployment, Social Policy, Health & Consumer Affairs Council
6RhodesPublic Administration (Ministerial Informal)
11BrusselsMeeting of the Presidium
11–12BrusselsAgriculture & Fisheries Council
12–13BrusselsConvention Plenary
17–18LuxembourgGeneral Affairs & External Relations
20HalkidikiEuropean Council
21HalkidikiZagreb II Summit
22BrusselsGeneral Affairs & External Relations
24BrusselsEmployment, Social Policy, Health & Consumer Affairs Council
2–3RomeResearch (Ministerial Informal)
4–5NaplesTransport Infrastructure (Ministerial Informal)
6BrusselsTrade (Ministerial Informal)
10VareseInformal Council/Troika
11–12VareseInformal Council of Ministers of Labour and Social Affairs
11–12VareseInformal Council of Ministers of Labour and Social Affairs
17–18TrevisoEU Employment Committee (Informal)
18–20MontecatiniEnergy & Environment (Ministerial Informal)
22–23BrusselsAgriculture & Fisheries Council
22BrusselsGeneral Affairs & External Relations
24–25MilanEuropean Conference on Discrimination
25–26VeronaEducation (Ministerial Informal)
AugustNo meetings planned

6 Feb 2003 : Column WA52

Wales: Hydroelectricity Generation

Lord Carlile of Berriew asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What is their policy in relation to the use of water for the generation of electricity in Wales. [HL1333]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Trade and Industry (Lord Sainsbury of Turville): The Government's policy is to maximise the contribution that hydrogeneration, and indeed all forms of renewable energy, can make to electricity production in Wales and more widely in the UK. Generating stations eligible under the Renewables Obligation include very small hydro stations of 1.25 MW DNC or less and also stations between 1.25 MW DNC and 20MW DNC commissioned before 1 January 1990, provided that they have been refurbished after that date. Output from such stations is eligible for renewable obligation certificates.

Under its renewable energy programme, the DTI is providing funding of up to £1.6 million to a Pembrokeshire-based company, Tidal Hydraulic Generators, to develop tidal-stream technology.

The Government will shortly be publishing an energy White Paper which will include the role of renewable energy in a low-carbon economy.

Fertility Clinics

Lord Alton of Liverpool asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Further to the Written Answer by Lord Hunt of Kings Heath on 16 January (WA 60), what clinics have had funding made available to them from the Medical Research Council (MRC), or have applied for such MRC funding, to enable them to employ nurse co-ordinators to counsel couples on the donation of their embryos for research purposes. [HL1369]

Lord Sainsbury of Turville: I refer the noble Lord to the Answer given by my right honourable friend the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry in another place on 15 January, Official Report, col 644W–646W.

6 Feb 2003 : Column WA53

RSPCA: Comments on BBC Coventry, 13 March 2002

Lord Mancroft asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has taken into account concerns expressed by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in relation to the use of firearms to kill wild animals, as highlighted in its comments on BBC Coventry on 13 March 2002. [HL1152]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Whitty): I regret that I am unable to give the noble Lord a substantive Answer. Neither the RSPCA nor BBC Coventry has been able to confirm the content, or provide a transcript, of any such comments by the RSPCA on BBC Coventry on that date.

Upper Severn Basin: Flood Control

Lord Carlile of Berriew asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What is their policy in relation to flood control in the Upper Severn Basin on the Wales/Shropshire border.[HL1332]

Lord Whitty: The department, with the National Assembly for Wales (NAW), has overall policy responsibility for flood and coastal defences in England and Wales and administers grant-aid for capital defence schemes. Operational responsibility for flood measures rests with the local operating authorities, normally the Environment Agency (EA) and local councils, which decide which projects to promote and their timing.

The aim of Defra and NAW policy is to reduce the risks to people and the developed and natural environment from flooding and erosion: by encouraging the provision of adequate and cost-effective flood warning systems; by encouraging the provision of adequate, technically, environmentally and economically sound and sustainable flood and coastal defence measures; and by discouraging inappropriate development in areas at risk from flooding or coastal erosion.

Defra and NAW encourage operating authorities to look strategically at flood risk areas in relation to river catchments. The EA is currently preparing a catchment flood management plan for the Upper Severn and any options for flood alleviation measures arising from this plan must satisfy essential criteria to qualify for either Defra or NAW grant.

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