HL Deb 12 May 1976 vol 370 cc1041-2WA

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What projects have been initiated with the help of financial contributions from the EEC in the field of environmental research.

Baroness BIRK

: Two programmes of environmental research have already been undertaken with the help of EEC funds, and further work has been approved by the Council of Ministers. The EEC contributed half the cost of the First Environmental Research Programme (Indirect Action) which had a total budget of £5 million over the two years 1974–75. About 130 contracts placed by the EEC with research institutes in the Nine Member States covered the following six topics:

  1. (i) Data hank on chemical pollutants;
  2. (ii) Noxiousness of lead;
  3. (iii) Epidemiological surveys;
  4. (iv) Effects of micro-pollutants on humans;
  5. (v) Ecological effects of pollutants;
  6. (vi) Remote sensing atmospheric pollution.
United Kingdom contracts covered some £900,000 of work to which the EEC contributed about £450,000.

A Direct Action programme of environmental research is being conducted at the EEC's Joint Research Centre at Ispra, Italy. This has a total budget of £6 .4 million over four years (1973–76) paid entirely out of EEC funds. The Council of Ministers have approved a second Indirect Action programme at a total cost of about £13 million over the five years 1976–1980, and the Commission has recently issued invitations to tender for contracts. A second Direct Action programme at Ispra is currently under consideration.

The preparation of a research programme will be the first task of the new European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions. This will involve research work, fully financed from the EEC Budget, on problems affecting both the working and living environment.

House adjourned at twenty minutes past seven o'clock.