HL Deb 28 January 1992 vol 534 cc47-8WA
Lord Clinton-Davis

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether they support the proposal by EC Commissioner Ripa di Meana that the European Environment Agency should be temporarily sited in the capital city of each president of the EC Council of Ministers in turn; if not what alternative they favour; and whether they consider it important that the agency starts work before the opening of the Rio de Janeiro conference.

Baroness Blatch

My right honourable friend the Secretary of State for the Environment will be supporting Commissioner di Meana's proposal, when it is formally tabled, unless a decision on a permanent location has already been made. Our first priority is to see the agency up and running and we will consider sympathetically any feasible proposal that is likely to achieve this. We intend to give priority to the issue of the agency's location during the United Kingdom presidency of the EC Council of Ministers if the Portuguese do not succeed in settling it during their presidency.

We have indicated our hope that the agency should begin its work as soon as practicable and we would welcome a start before the opening of the Rio de Janeiro conference if that could be achieved.