§ Mr. Rippon
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment how many meetings of European Ministers 517W of the Environment he has attended; what contribution the United Kingdom is making to the European environmental programme; and whether he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Heseltine
The United Kingdom continues to play an important role in the development of the community's environmental policy. I am happy to say that the principles of the first action programme, with which my right hon. Friend the then Secretary of State for the Environment, was associated 10 years ago, have held good and the guidelines for a third action programme were approved by the Council of Ministers on 17 December. The United Kingdom is represented at meetings of European Environment Ministers by the Minister of State or the Under-Secretary of State; this level of representation corresponds with that of our European partners.