§ Mr. Wigley
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what is the definition of dwindling population which is used for the purposes of defining marginal land.
§ Mrs. Fenner
EC directive 75/268 on the less favoured areas requires areas designated under article 3(4) to meet several criteria, one of which is that they must have a low or dwindling population. The European Commission has defined this as being a population density no greater than 50 per cent. of the national average, or no more than 75 persons per square kilometre. The latter test was applied in the United Kingdom's case to Brussels which resulted in the designation of our marginal land areas as less favoured.