My Lords and Members of the House of Commons

Prorogation – in the House of Commons at 7:32 pm on 30th November 2000.

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The Duke of Edinburgh and I were pleased to receive the State Visit of Her Majesty Queen Margrethe of Denmark and Prince Henrik in February.

We recall with pleasure our visit to Australia in March. Similarly we were delighted to pay a State Visit to Italy and a Visit to the Holy See in October.

My Government has continued to take a leading role in the European Union. The Special European Council in Lisbon signalled new developments in Europe' s approach to economic and social reform.

Preparing for enlargement is a challenge for the European Union, and my Government is playing a key role. My Government has worked for practical measures to strengthen the European Union's foreign and security policy and continues to work with our allies to strengthen and modernise NATO.

My Government has made a large political, military and financial commitment to build peace and stability in the Balkans. It has played a leading role in helping to rebuild Kosovo.

My Government has taken decisive action in support of the UN operation in Sierra Leone, and continued to support the UN in bringing self-determination to the people of East Timor. In the G8 and other forums my Government has taken a leading role in tackling issues of poverty eradication, debt relief and the causes of conflict.