Memorandum submitted by the Foreign and
Commonwealth Office on Bilateral Action Plans for EU Applicant
In line with our promise to pass on Action Plans
to the Foreign Affairs Committee as they are agreed, I have pleasure
in enclosing three new bilateral plans for Latvia, Romania, and
Bulgaria, and the revised UK-Slovakia Action Plan.
The aim of these Action Plans is to bring together
and enhance the UK's practical support for reform in the applicant
states in the run-up to EU accession. Action plans achieve better
visibility for our projects and allow for better co-ordination
and targeting of our pre-accession assistance.
20 March 2001
The British Prime Minister, Tony Blair, told
the Romanian Parliament in May 1999, that Britain wants the European
Union to enlarge and that the British Government is committed
to the earliest possible accession for Romania.
As a champion of enlargement, the United Kingdom
remains strongly committed to supporting Romania's accession to
the European Union and to helping Romania in the associated reform
This Action Plan summarises the broad range
of practical support, which the United Kingdom is providing for
Romania's efforts to prepare for EU membership. It has been discussed
jointly between the two governments, and is being launched on
7 March 2001 during the visit to the UK by the Romanian Minister
of Foreign Affairs, His Excellency Mirces Geoana. The Plan covers
DFID's wide-ranging programmes as well as the activities of the
British Council. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office has made
available an additional £100,000, to support further activities
under the Action Plan.
The United Kingdom regards bilateral co-operation
as an important complement to the EU's pre-accession activities
in Romania, delivered through various programmes, including the
PHARE programme, (to which the United Kingdom contributes 15 per
cent), and to the programmes of the World Bank, (to which the
United Kingdom is also a significant contributor). The United
Kingdom takes part in 10 Twinning projects in the fields of JHA,
regional policy, agriculture, industrial policies and financial
Trade, Investment and the Single Market
Commercial exchanges and the value of two-way
trade have grown in recent years, keeping pace with the evolution
of our bilateral relationship. In 2000 there was a 56 per cent
increase in British exports to Romania and a 32 per cent increase
in Romanian exports to the United Kingdom.
As Romania continues its negotiations with EU
towards the acquis, co-operation between representatives of the
United Kingdom and Romania, in Embassies and Trade Development
agencies, will increase, raising awareness of opportunities for
trade and investment, and tourism.
British regional chambers of commerce, trade
development agencies and government departments are expected to
send Trade Missions to Romania. British companies will attend
trade fairs, including ConstructExpo and Technical International
The Confederation of British Industry will host
a British Business Day in June; and Trade Partners UK will sponsor
a mission to Romania in the Autumn.
Trade Partners UK, regional chambers and development
agencies will work with the Romanian Embassy in London to maximise
the effect of Romanian trade missions visiting the UK.
The United Kingdom, through DFID and the National
Audit Office, will help strengthen the institutional capacity
of the Romanian Court of Audit and support the adoption and implementation
of international standards for external audit. This work will
complement an EU Twinning project, which the National Audit Office
will head, starting in July. The Controller and National Audit
General will visit Romania in April.
Other assistance in this sector includes the
DFID Accountancy and Audit reform project, which aims to improve
the performance of commercial and industrial enterprises by establishing
an accounting framework, which satisfies international standards.
Justice and Home Affairs
The United Kingdom and Romania will continue
to implement the Memorandum of Understanding on Co-operation to
combat Organised Crime and illicit Drug Trafficking, and develop
further co-operation in these areas. To that end the British Government
has a Drugs Liaison Officer in Bucharest, and the British Drugs
"Czar", Mr Keith Hellawell, visited Romania in February.
The United Kingdom will provide training assistance in specialised
police work, explore the possibility of seconding rummage experts
to the Romanian customs, increase the exchange of information,
and sponsor Romanian participation in international operational
The United Kingdom and Romania will intensify
efforts to improve co-operation in combating people-trafficking
and illegal immigration.
The United Kingdom and Romania will sign a Readmission
A British Pre-Accession Adviser heads the UNDCP/EU
Phare Twinning Project on Organised Crime and Policing.
The United Kingdom is funding an adviser in
the Ministry of the Interior to advise on issues such as restructuring
within the Ministry, strengthening institutions and developing
more "joined-up" practices, and the demilitarisation
of the Romanian police. The United Kingdom will continue to encourage
further co-operation between the Romanian National Police Force
and Police Forces in the United Kingdom.
The United Kingdom will support an awareness
campaign organised by a Romanian NGO, to be broadcast on national
television, to combat child abuse.
The British Government, through DFID, is assisting
in the development of probation services for juveniles, providing
assistance in establishing a probation team in the Ministry of
Justice, advising on legislation and training for probation officers,
and developing pilot projects, using community-based solutions
for petty offenders.
The United Kingdom is the junior partner in
the EU Phare Twinning Project on reform of the Penitentiaries
and the Probation Services.
The United Kingdom will provide assistance through
DFID's Central & South Eastern European regional aid funds
(£4 million per annum) to address generic problems, for instance,
a Roma support initiative.
The British Council will continue to support
English language teaching as well as developing its activities
in areas such as good governance and human rights.
The British Council organised training for judges
on the application of the European Convention on Human Rights.
The United Kingdom will continue to draw on British expertise
to develop the capacity of Romanian NGOs dealing with human rights,
in particular minority rights.
The British Council is currently working with
University departments in Romania to develop a textbook on English
for law, which will include elements of European Community Law.
The British Council, in partnership with the
Europe Institute, Bucharest, is providing training for legal translators
responsible for translating EC legislation into Romanian. The
British Council will work with the Association of Romanian Magistrates
and the National Institute of Magistrates to develop training
capacity for accession-related issues.
Civil service reform is essential, in particular,
the development of a politically neutral civil service. The British
Government, through DFID, is assisting in the establishment of
the National Agency for Civil Servants, which is responsible for
overseeing implementation of the law on civil servants, and introducing
new procedures to develop a more professional civil service. DFID
is also a key partner with the Romanian Government, the EU and
World Bank in formulating a policy on strengthening institutions
and the rule of law, focussing on civil service reform, deregulation,
judicial and legal reform, and decentralisation.
In supporting Romania to address the crisis
in its child care institutions, the United Kingdom, through DFID,
is supporting the establishment of a National Authority for Child
Protection and Adoptions in Romania, to formulate policy and regulate
services, and establish effective linkages, (policy and practice),
between the centre (including cross-Ministerial) and the counties,
and develop community-based support services for vulnerable children
and families, as an alternative to the institutionalisation of
children. The project aims to establish clear standards on accreditation/licensing
of NGOs working in the child protection field, and to reform the
adoption system, to comply with the Hague convention.
The United Kingdom will continue to support
the Romania/World Bank Social Development Fund, which addresses
poverty at the local level and assists the development of poor
communities. DFID will provide international and local expertise,
run local workshops and seminars, and organise study visits.
Complementing existing Romanian, World Bank
and EU initiatives, the United Kingdom will assist the Ministry
of Labour to reform its social assistance structures, and develop
a better understanding of the mechanisms needed for setting up
and enforcing minimum standards for social services.
The United Kingdom will provide technical assistance
for Citizen Advice Centres, establishing offices in counties,
and satellites in the poorer communities.
The United Kingdom, through DFID, will assist
municipalities, utilities, and other interested parties to prepare
environmental projects for ISPA and for other funding. Britain
will assist Romanian training centres to provide marketable and
sustainable training courses to increase the long-term capacity
of relevant stakeholders in project preparation skills.
The United Kingdom will create Business Environment
Associations to increase dialogue between public, private and
community sectors, and assist (mainly) SMEs to improve their environmental
record and image. The DFID/UNDP Local Agenda 21 project will increase
the capacity of local authorities to draw up, implement and evaluate
sustainable development strategies and projects, through consensus
building with other public, private and civil society partners.
The restructuring of the electricity industry
in Romania is in transition, and the competitive market is at
an early stage of development. Proposed British assistance will
provide high level expertise to ANRE, developing an efficient
and competitive market for electricity and ensuring smaller consumers
are not disadvantaged by on-going initiatives for the development
of a competitive market.
The British Government, through DFID and in
collaboration with the World Bank, will work with the Ministry
of Health, to help district health authorities assess their needs
and match these with locally allocated resources.
The United Kingdom will continue to promote
contemporary Britain and the English language, by providing access
to up-to-date information in British Council Centres and libraries
throughout Romania, and through the Embassy's public diplomacy
The United Kingdom, through DFID, is assisting
with the process of decentralisation of financial management of
pre-university education. Projects will assist local authorities
to establish effective partnerships, to determine policy and spending
priorities, and manage their resources and assets effectively.
Agriculture and Regional Development
The United Kingdom will fund a regional development
project, addressing economic growth and reducing social exclusion
and poverty in local communities. The rationale for intervention
at a regional level is based on the necessity for policy and resources
to be planned and integrated, to respond to the needs and opportunities
within a particular region and the emphasis of the EU on programmes
promoting economic and social cohesion within candidate countries.
DFID will provide support for strengthening
capacity to promote development a the regional and local levels,
complementing the World Bank Rural Development Project, which
will help rural communities prepare project proposals to be funded
by SAPARD and other donors.
The United Kingdom is involved in 3 Twinning
programmes in this sector: Britain has a Pre-Accession Adviser
within the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Forestry providing
assistance to the Ministry in implementing agricultural and rural
Key text below this rule.
A British Pre-Accession Adviser in the central
Regional Development Agency is providing technical assistance
aimed at strengthening the institutional capacity of regional
and local authorities. There are also British Pre-Accession Advisers
in some of the regions, working to improve administrative programming
capacity, with a view to accessing EU Pre-Accession Funds, and
eventually, Structural Funds.
Foreign and Defence/Security Policy
There is wide-ranging bilateral co-operation
in foreign policy, and in security/defence issues. This is mainly
related to Romania's bid for membership of the EU and NATO.
The United Kingdom is funding an adviser in
the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to assist Romania throughout its
period as Chairman-in-Office of the OSCE.
The United Kingdom will intensify its dialogue
with Romania on a wide range of foreign policy issues of common
interest, in the spirit of the EU Common Foreign and Security
The United Kingdom will exchange experiences
and provide assistance and advice on accession-related matters.
The United Kingdom will continue to provide training on diplomacy
and negotiating techniques, particularly for EU accession, through
scholarships and other courses.
The United Kingdom will work with the Romanian
government to develop further expertise in accession-related areas,
through the provision of British expertise and the development
of training issues.
Under the ASSIST programme, the United Kingdom
is funding two military advisers in the Romanian Ministry of Defence
to assist in the process of restructuring, both within the Ministry
and within the Romanian armed forces. There is also a British
military adviser seconded to the Regional Training Centre in the
Romanian Academy of Higher Military Studies, to assist in training
The United Kingdom plans to second an English
language teaching adviser to the Ministry of National Defence,
to develop training for the Ministry's English teachers. The United
Kingdom will also provide English language training equipment
for the Ministry of Defence.
The Romanian parliament faces the challenge
of handling a significant increase in legislation, either directly
or indirectly related to the EU. The United Kingdom is keen to
share its experience and promote closer inter-parliamentary contacts.
The United Kingdom is keen to explore further areas of co-operation
with Romania, through bodies such as the Westminster Foundation
Through the British Chevening Scholarships scheme,
the British Government will continue to provide support to enable
talented young Romanian professionals and future leaders to further
their studies in Britain, particularly in areas relevant to Romania's
The British Council will continue to develop
networks of young Romanian professionals and their European colleagues
by ensuring Romanian participation in the British Council's programme
of European networking events discussing European political, social,
economic, educational and cultural issues.
The British Council will continue to organise
periodic seminars and conferences, with the British Embassy, to
strengthen these networks and foster debate on European Accession
issues within Romania and to strengthen networks of young professionals
with an interest and influence in the field.
The United Kingdom continues to support the
further development of a free and independent media in Romania.
In particular, the BBC School of Broadcast Journalism, established
in 1992 by DFID, BBC World Service Training, the Soros Foundation
and the Romanian Academy of Film and Theatre, has provided training
for more than 300 young radio and television journalists from
both the public and private sectors. The school enjoys a reputation
for excellence throughout the Romanian broadcast industry.
This Action Plan provides a basis for on-going
British support for Romania's EU accession process. It will be
reviewed and updated regularly.
As a champion of European enlargement, Britain
is strongly committed to supporting Latvia's early accession to
the European Union (EU). This Action Plan details UK initiatives
to help Latvia's progress towards this goal. It has been written
in conjunction with the Latvian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA).
The British Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has made GBP
50,000 available for a range of activities under this Action Plan
during 2001-02. Priority sectors include Justice and Home Affairs,
Public Administration Reform, Social Integration/Naturalisation,
Rural Development (including Agriculture), Environment and Pre-Accession
This Action Plan included the activities of
the FCO and the Latvian MFA, the British Department for International
Development (DFID), and other British and Latvian Ministries,
the British Embassy and the British Council in Riga. It complements
the EU's pre-accession assistance to Latvia delivered through
the annual PHARE programme (to which Britain contributes 15 per
cent), and the programmes of the World Bank in Latvia, to which
Britain is also a significant contributor.
Justice and Home Affairs
The British and Latvian Governments will work
to implement the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) On Co-operation
in the Fight Against Serious Crime, Organised Crime, Illicit Drug
Trafficking, Combating Terrorism and Matters of Like Interest
signed in Riga in November 2000, and to develop further co-operation
in these areas. This bilateral MOU follows one on Mutual Assistance
Between Customs Administration signed in April 1999.
Further UK support to combat smuggling is envisaged.
We are also providiing extensive support to the PHARE "Regional
Drug Law Enforcement Project" which commences later in 2001.
Under its ASSIST programme, the FCO (through
the British Council) will deliver English Language Training to
the Defence, Justice and Interior Ministries, plus the Police
As a contribution to the campaign against corruption,
at the end of 2000 the FCO funded a visit to Riga by a British
expert to a seminar on political party financing. The British
Embassy will continue to look for opportunities to provide advice
on tackling corruption in Latvia more generally, in support of
efforts by other donorsespecially the EU and the World
In the field of justice, the FCO and DFID are
supporting a SOROS Foundation programme of "Alternatives
to Custody" in Riga and several regional centres, as part
of the campaign to address the problem of pre-trial detention.
The FCO is also funding advice on a probation system for the Latvian
During 1999/2000, the FCO funded an exchange
of visits on Juvenile Crime Issues between South Wales Police
and the Police in Riga and Daugavpils.
In 2000, the Oxford-based Centre for Political
and Diplomatic Studies (CPDS), with the support of the FCO, ran
a course for EU applicant states (based in the UK and Brussels)
on "EU Accession: Justice and Home Affairs". Latvian
representatives from the Ministries of Interior and Justice took
The planned visit to the UK during 2001 of the
Minister of Interior with senior Ministry and Police officials,
will help take forward further co-operation in the area of Justice
and Home Affairs.
In the field of drugs:
British Drugs Liaison Officer (DLO)a
British Customs official based in the British Embassy in Warsawis
available to assist the Latvian authorities with drugs interdiction
on a case-by-case basis;
there is the possibility of a visit
during 2001 to Riga by the British Government's drug's "Czar",
there have been a number of DFID
and FCO projects designed to raise awareness among Latvian young
people of the dangers of drugs;
the FCO plan to fund a UNDP project
targeted at raising such awareness in Latvian schools.
There is close co-operation between the two
Governments in deterring residents of Latvia from seeking bogus
asylum in the United Kingdom.
Public Administration Reform
There is an acknowledged need for further public
administration reform as part of Latvia's process of integration
into the EU. The UK has already provided valuable assistance in
this area. A new pan-Baltic project, funded by DFID, on Public
Administration Reform is scheduled to start in March 2001 to be
implemented over the period 2001-04. This will build on the advice
from Sir Robin Mountfield (a retired Permanent Secretary from
the British Cabinet Office), funded by the EU and DFID, provided
to Ministers and senior officials in Latvia during 2000.
The British Council is assisting the Latvian
administration with its work on EU law approximation and harmonisation,
specifically in the area of technical translation.
Britain is a strong supporter of this process,
recognising the advantage for Latvia of comprehensive social integration,
including maximising the number of successful naturalisation applicants,
in the run up to EU accession. To this end:
the FCO will provide £35,000
to support, with other major donors, the Naturalisation Board's
new Public Awareness project;
the British Government has provided
£150,000 to support the Government's Latvian Language Training
Programme (£100,000 from DFID; £50,000 from the FCO);
in conjunction with the Soros Foundation,
the British Council is funding the training of Latvian language
teachers so as to improve the teaching of Latvian to those seeking
the FCO has supported social integration
projects in Latvia's regions under the auspices of the local OSCE
Mission. It has also contributed to the funding of the publication
of a booklet in Latvian and Russian intended to increase awareness
and promote participation in the recently-launched Social Integration
the FCO has funded a visit to England
and Wales by the Head of the Naturalisation Board to look at British
policies on ethnic minorities.
Subject to adequate co-funding by the Latvian
Government, the FCO stands ready to support projects under the
Social Integration Programme.
A three-year (2001-04) pan-Baltic "Rural
Partnerships" project funded by DFID has been successfully
launched in Latvia (based in Latgale). The project has the explicit
goal of reducing "poverty and social exclusion in the Baltic
States through improved rural and regional development".
It is intended to build sustainable capacity in rural businesses
and help them and regional authorities access EU and other donor
funds. In anticipation of this project, DFID co-sponsored an international
conference on Rural Development in Riga in May 2000.
In early 2001, the Oxford-based CPDS ran a course
for EU applicant states, funded by the FCO, on "EU Accession:
Agriculture". Two representatives from the Latvian Ministry
of Agriculture attended (including the Minister's Policy Adviser).
The British and Latvian Agriculture Ministries
signed an MOU in 1999. This provides a sound basis for mutual
Under a Swedish/British EU Twinning Project
on Fisheries, a UK expert (Pre-Accession Adviser) will be based
in Riga from 2001.
A three-year (2000-03) pan-Baltic project "Strengthening
Capacity and Environment Project Development", funded by
DFID, was successfully launched in Latvia. The project is designed
to improve the ability of rural and regional authorities to develop
environmental projects for funding by the EU and other donors.
In 2000, the Oxford-based CPDS ran a course
for EU applicant states "EU Accession: Environment",
funded by the FCO. A representative from the Latvian Ministry
of Environment and Regional Development took part.
In the field of forestry, the FCO has funded:
a forest training project run by
Scottish Woodlands for Latvian State Forests;
a seminar on Applied Forestry Landscape
Ecology run by Britain's Forestry Commission;
further British/Latvian co-operation,
to include sustainable development and certification, is envisaged
under an MOU which is currently under discussion between the Forestry
Commission and Latvian State Forests.
As noted in other sections of this Action Plan,
Britain is already active in the EU's Twinning Programme in Latvia
and keen to do more. To date, Britain has supported Germany on
a project in the Financial sector. It will shortly undertake its
own projects in the Fisheries (jointly with the Swedes) and Public
Expenditure sectors (the latter with an element of Public Administration
Social Security Reform
Following from the November 1999 visit to Riga
by Angela Eagle, the British Minister of Social Security, there
is an on-going programme of co-operation with the Latvian authorities:
Senior Latvian officials visited
the UK twice during 2000 to familiarise themselves with British
experience in implementing social security and welfare aspects
of the EU acquis. Officials from the British Departments of Social
Security and Employment visited Riga during 2000 to explain to
their Latvian counterparts the UK initiative on "Welfare
to Work". Further co-operation could include the health sector;
The Latvian Minister for Welfare,
Mr Pozarnovs, visited the UK during 2000 for English language
training and to look at the administration of the National Health
Between 1999 and 2001, British Customs provided
expertise to the Latvian authorities under a German-managed EU
Twinning Project on "Internal Market Capacity Building and
The UK will lead a new EU Twinning Project on
"Public Expenditure Management" in Latvia, beginning
On the basis of a long-standing MOU, there is
regular co-operation between the London and Riga Stock Exchanges.
In July 2000 the Lord Mayor of London visited
Riga to promote the services of the City of London and to stimulate
further British/Latvian co-operation in this area.
Public Private Partnership (PPP). Both sides
will work to facilitate the establishment of a PPP mechanism in
Latvia, and encourage British companies to engage in pilot PPP
projects in Latvia.
Inter-Parliamentary contacts are flourishing.
Both Governments stand ready to help and facilitate where appropriate.
There have been a number of exchange visits, including at the
in March 1999, Mr Janis Straume,
the Chairman of the Saeima, visited the UK. This visit was reciprocated
in October 2000 when Ms Betty Boothroyd, Speaker of the House
of Commons, visited Latvia. In 1999 the Clerk to the House of
Commons visited Riga;
to Latvia in June 2000 and January
2001 by the House of Commons' Trade and Industry and Foreign Affairs
by senior Saeima and House of Commons
officials, funded by the FCO, focusing on protocol, administration
Trade and Investment: Development and Promotion
Working as part of the Trade Partners UK trade
development team, and in close collaboration with the British
Chamber of Commerce in Latvia, the Commercial Section of the British
Embassy will continue to seek opportunities in the Latvian market
for British companies, including opportunities for investment
in collaboration with the Latvian Development Agency. British
Trade International will support British trade missions and the
presence of British companies at Latvian trade fairs and exhibitions
to this end.
The British Council has been working actively
in fostering links in the creative industries; and Latvia will
host an inward trade mission from Britain in this sector during
The British Embassy is currently, in collaboration
with the British Council, preparing for a British Week to be held
in Latvia on 18-25 May 2001, including a Commercial exhibition
and associated seminars.