To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what the Government's estimate is of the size of the 'acquis communautaire' of the European Union in (a) pages, (b) words and (c) number of pieces of legislation.
The acquis communautaire consists of the principles, practices, policies, obligations, objectives and legal and other acts that have been agreed or have developed over the years by the EU and the European Communities. These include, in particular, the EU treaties in their entirety, as well as all existing EU legislation and Court of Justice judgments.
Given that the acquis inevitably evolves over time, it is not possible to give the exact figures requested. However, within the ongoing accession negotiations with Turkey, the acquis consists of 35 chapters covering the key topics.