Coal

Trade and Industry written question – answered on 6th November 2001.

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Photo of Mr Kevin Hughes Mr Kevin Hughes Labour, Doncaster North

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what plans she has to promote amendments to reduce EU state aid to the UK coal industry on a year-by-year basis.

Photo of Mr Brian Wilson Mr Brian Wilson Minister of State (Industry and Energy), Department of Trade and Industry

The European Commission proposal for a Council regulation on state aid to the coal industry beyond 2002 requires aid to be reduced in a "continuous and significant manner". It is very important that this is achieved so that we progress to a liberalised market without aid, and honour the commitment given at the Lisbon Council to reduce the level of state aids. Therefore we would like to see amendments clarifying that the total level of aid which may be granted by any member state must be reduced in a significant manner on a year-by-year basis. We are pursuing this objective in Council negotiations.

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