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Direct Elections

Volume 959: debated on Wednesday 29 November 1978

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asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what is the amount of money allocated by the EEC Commission for general information services in the United Kingdom concerning direct elections; what terms of reference have been given to those administering this expenditure; and what is the budget authority for it.

The sums available to the United Kingdom Office of the Commission are 600,000 EUA from the 1978 budget and 100,000 EUA from the 1979 budget, which has yet to be finally adopted, making 700,000 EUA in all, or some £469,000. The London offices of the Commission and the Assembly have stated that they will be joining in a common programme of factual information about the Assembly and the direct elections, which will end before the election campaign itself begins. Funds contributed to the programme by the Assembly Information Office are expected to bring the total to a little over £1 million.The rubric to article 2729 of the general budget of the European Communities, which gives the authority for the expenditure of the sums allocated to the Commission, reads:

"This appropriation is intended to cover Community participation in certain activities to be carried out in preparation for direct elections to the European Parliament. As well as information projects, this appropriation will cover subsidies to European movements and other bodies for the financing of activities they have planned in this field ".