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European Union

Volume 400: debated on Monday 3 March 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether his Department has achieved its Public Service Agreement target to ensure increasing public support for EU activities; and if he will make a statement. [98429]

The FCO's Public Service Agreement for 2001–04, agreed under the 2000 Spending Review, sets out our aim to achieve Increased support for, and better understanding of, merits of EU membership'. We work towards achieving this objective through our EU Public Diplomacy strategy. Progress can be measured through Eurobarometer, the European Commission's regular survey of pan-European public opinion.According to Eurobarometer, support for EU membership in the UK has increased recently. In the Eurobarometer spring 2000 survey, only 25 per cent. of those polled in the UK said that our EU membership was a 'good thing'. By the autumn of 2002, this figure had risen to 31 per cent. Eurobarometer showed that levels of perceived knowledge about the EU in the UK also rose between the spring 2000 and spring 2002 surveys.