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The Parliamentary Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (Lord Donoughue): I refer the noble Lord to the Answer given to my noble friend Lord Gregson on 17 July 1997 (Official Report, col. WA 122). The Government were not given the opportunity to make written representations to the European Commission on the latter's assessment of deficiencies in the United Kingdom controls on beef exports before they were made public.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean): We ensure that all relevant departments are fully consulted to ensure a co-ordinated and consistent policy towards central and eastern Europe and Russia in terms of our relations both with the relevant international organisations, taking account of their different activities and requirements, and bilaterally with the individual countries concerned.
Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean: We took part in last month's Brussels conference designed to add political momentum to the Ottawa process. We shall continue actively to encourage other countries to join it.
The foundation received £2.5 million from the FCO for its activities in 1996-97. With this grant it supported 278 projects in 58 countries. It directed most of its funds to supporting democratic institutions in central and eastern Europe, the former Soviet Union and Anglophone Africa, and also supported worthwhile projects in other parts of the world. It makes a valuable contribution to the promotion of democracy overseas. Projects have included work with political parties, parliaments, the independent media, trades unions, human rights groups, women's groups and other non-governmental organisations involved in political development.
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