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Espoo Convention (Bucharest 19-21 May)

Volume 475: debated on Thursday 15 May 2008

The UK will be represented at official level at the fourth meeting of the parties to the UNECE convention on environmental impact assessment in a transboundary context (the Espoo convention), to be held in Bucharest, Romania, from 19 to 21 May.

The meeting will be invited to adopt a work plan and budget to cover the period to the next meeting of the parties, around 2011, and decisions on good practice, co-operation and modifications to procedures, all designed to improve the effectiveness of the convention. None of the matters to be considered are expected to raise concerns about UK interests. We will support adoption of a work plan that is realistic and properly costed, and will contribute to the agreed costs of the convention.

Parties will be expected to indicate their intention to ratify a protocol to the Espoo convention on strategic environmental assessment (SEA). The UK signed this protocol in 2003 with the intention of ratifying as soon as measures needed for compliance were in place. It is now established that the UK is compliant with no requirement for specific measures and we therefore propose to confirm our intention to ratify the protocol.