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Gibraltar

Volume 460: debated on Thursday 24 May 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what plans she has to meet the Gibraltar Chief Minister in the next 12 months. (139064)

There are currently no plans for either my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary or myself to meet the Chief Minister. Ministerial diaries and engagements are kept under constant review.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many times she has met the Chief Minister of Gibraltar in the last 12 months. (139065)

My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary has not met the Chief Minister in the last 12 months. I met the Chief Minister most recently on the occasion of the Gibraltar day reception in the City of London in October 2006, and have regular contact with him.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether she plans to attend National Day in Gibraltar in September 2007. (139066)

Foreign travel and engagements for my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary and other Ministers are kept under constant review. It is not practice to announce such visits until they are firm. Because of the unpredictable nature of world events, final decisions on overseas visits are not often possible until very shortly before the day of travel.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps she has taken to ensure that Gibraltar is effectively represented within the EU. (139068)

Officials from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and other Government Departments work closely with the Government of Gibraltar to promote and defend Gibraltar’s rights and interests within the EU, often (but not exclusively) through active interventions by the UK Permanent Representation in Brussels.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps the Government is taking to ensure that Gibraltar has the same access to EU funding as other EU regions. (139069)

Gibraltar has its own constitutional self-government and separate economy. It is a territory for whose external affairs a member state is responsible in accordance with Article 299(4) of the Treaty establishing the European Community. Therefore, Gibraltar is entitled to receive EU structural funds from the UK member state’s allocation.

Gibraltar’s allocation of Regional Competitiveness and Employment Objective funding was based on the same formulas as were applied to the nine English Regions. Allocations under the Co-operation objective are determined by a formula set out in the structural funds general regulations.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how much the government of Gibraltar received from the European Union in each of the past five years. (139070)

Gibraltar has received the following funds from the European Union over the past five years:

2002

2003

2004

2005

2006

Total

Objective 2 The European Regional Development Fund (Regional Development)

37,951.51

927,980.70

242,942.74

1,453,210.04

1,099,544.22

3,761,629.21

Objective 3 European Social Fund (Social Funds)

7,879.00

445,103.00

22,901.00

1,386,016.00

384,395.00

2,246,294.00

Interreg IIIA (Gibraltar /Morocco)

18,535.78

2,025.23

0.00

32,865.04

9,041.78

62,467.83

Total

64,366.29

1,375,108.93

265,843.74

2,872,091.08

1,492,981.00

6,070,391.04

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment she has made of the impact of the new air terminal development on the relationship between Spain and Gibraltar. (139072)

The construction of a new airport terminal by the Gibraltar Government forms part of the arrangements agreed in the Cordoba Ministerial Statement on Gibraltar airport on 18 September 2006 under the Trilateral Forum of Dialogue on Gibraltar.

The Cordoba trilateral agreements, including the proposed new terminal, have already brought significant benefits, including more connections from Gibraltar airport, greatly improved border flows, recognition of Gibraltar’s international dialling code and mobile roaming, as well as a settlement of the long-standing issue of the pensions of former Spanish workers in Gibraltar. Overall, this has brought a considerable improvement in the relationship between Spain and Gibraltar.