§ Mr. Spearing
To ask the Prime Minister, pursuant to his answer of 13 January,Official Report, column 470, concerning the inclusion in the draft treaty of European union of a reference to the role and significance of European parties, when he expects to receive a draft formulation from the presidency; when he expects to lay this before Parliament; and what is the objective of the provision.
§ The Prime Minister
The Portuguese presidency has proposed the following draft treaty articlePolitical parties at European level are important as a factor for integration within the Union. They contribute to forming a European awareness and to expressing the political will of the citizens of the Union".
Discussion is continuing in Brussels as to where this article should appear in the treaty. This is one of a number of technical points which will be settled before signature in early February. The text of the treaty will be published in the normal way after signature.