asked Her Majesty's Government:
What estimates they have made of (a) the economic benefits and (b) the economic costs to the United Kingdom and to the European Community as a whole, of the decisions reached at the meeting of Ministers of the European Union concerned with justice and home affairs on 29 November 1993.
The Minister of State, Home Office (Earl Ferrers)
Of the issues which were before the Justice and Home Affairs Council, which was held on 29/30 November, only the establishment of the Europol Drugs Unit has direct financial implications. The costs of the unit will be borne by member states, partly through a common budget and partly through direct payment of salaries and other expenses of staff who are seconded to the unit. The United Kingdom's contribution for the year starting 1 January 1994 is estimated to be 322,140 ecu. The costs of United Kingdom staff seconded to the unit are estimated at £150,000 for the same year.
The council endorsed work on combating fraud against the Community budget and on serious organised crime which, in the longer term, is likely to be of significant economic benefit to the Community and to the United Kingdom.