To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what the mandate of the Committee on Financial and Technical Assistance and Economic Co-Operation with Developing Countries in Asia and Latin America is; how many times it has met over the last 12 months; what the UK representation on it is; what the annual cost of its work is to public funds; if she will list the items currently under its consideration; if she will take steps to increase its accountability and transparency to Parliament; and if she will make a statement.
Council Regulation (EC) No. 443/92
The committee considers and delivers an opinion, by qualified majority voting, on development assistance financing proposals for country and regional strategies, projects and programmes in Asia and Latin America.
In the past 12 months the committee has met 11 times. The United Kingdom is represented by officials from the Department for International Development. Travel costs for DFID officials to attend meetings of the committee are met by the European Commission. Other costs incurred for attending this committee totalled £1,800 in the past 12 months.
EU development co-operation assistance in Asian has been focused on direct poverty reduction measures, for example through support for rural development, infrastructure and institutional capacity building. The environment sector has also received support with substantial programmes devoted to areas such as forest protection, biodiversity and environmental technology. The health and education sectors also feature significantly in EC efforts aimed at poverty reduction. Priority is given to the poorest populations, and to the poorer areas of developing countries, with a view to supporting economic activities that lead to sustainable development.
Together with the member states, the Commission is currently conducting a review to bring existing legislation on the conduct of comitology committees into line with Council Decision 1999/468/EC, to
"simplify the requirements for the exercise of implementing powers conferred on the Commission".
As an obligation to this Decision, the Commission undertook to publish an annual report on the working of committees. The first report was deposited in the Libraries of both Houses on
As part of the review process, the UK Government have encouraged the Commission to produce and maintain an electronic database of every comitology committee, its agendas and recent actions, to be accessible through its website.