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European Regional Development Fund

Volume 961: debated on Friday 26 January 1979

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asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is the size of the European regional development fund for 1979 following the adoption of the 1979 Budget by the European Parliament; and what is the policy of the British Government towards the continuing dispute about the size of the fund between the European Parliament, the European Commission and the Council of Ministers.

On the first part of the hon. Member's question, I refer to the answer that I gave him on 16 January [Vol. 960, c. 730.]On the second part of the question, as I informed my hon. Friend the Member for Newham, South (Mr. Spearing) on the same day [Vol. 960, c. 729], Her Majesty's Government are concerned to uphold the authority of the Council in its relations with the Assembly, and are also concerned about the practical functioning of the Community, including in the budgetary area.

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what votes the British Minister has so far cast in the Council of Ministers on the size of the European regional development fund for 1979.

At the Budget Council on 18 July 1978 I, and representatives of all other member States, agreed to appropriations from the regional development fund in 1979 of 620 MEUA for commitments, and 320 MEUA for payments, in line with the 1977 decision of the European Council. At the Budget Council on 20 November, after failing to secure acceptance by the Council of a compromise proposal that I made which would have taken account, both of the European Council's decision and of its resolution at Bremen on resource transfers to the less prosperous member States, I did not oppose the Assembly proposal to increase commitment appropriations by 480 MEUA and payment appropriations by 233 MEUA.