asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what information he has as to which areas of France are entitled to receive aid from EEC regional aid funds; what proportion of the French land mass this represents; what limitations are imposed on the total area by Community obligations; and what similar limitation is imposed on the United Kingdom.
I am not aware of any data of this kind for France. Eligibility for aid from the European regional development fund is usually limited to aided areas established by member states in applying their systems to regional aid. No specifc geographical limits for regional aid are set by the European Community. The manner of the Commission's exercise of its powers under Articles 92 and 93 of the treaty, as they relate to regional policies, remains as set out in its communication to the Council on regional aid systems (Official Journal of the European Communities for 3 February 1979 No. C31/9); although part 2 of that communication does, of course, need amendment to take account of the Commission's recent decision to raise no objection to the Government's proposal to amend, and substantially increase, assisted area coverage in the United Kingdom.