§ Mr. Harry Greenway
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what is the current NATO information service budget; what are the comparable figures in real terms within each of the past three years; what are its main uses; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Douglas Hogg
NATO's information budgets for the present and past two years, at current exchange rates, are:
- 1992 £3,522,505
- 1993 £3,855,186
- 1994 £3,757,339
Allowing for an estimated inflation rate over the period of between 2.7 and 4 per cent., there was a real budget increase of 6.4 per cent. in 1993 over 1992, and a real decrease of 5.2 per cent. in 1994 over 1993. Over the whole period the budget increased in real terms by 0.8 per cent.
NATO organises and sponsors multinational information programmes on various aspects of the alliance with the objective of explaining the aims and achievements of the alliance to public opinion in NATO member countries, and improving public understanding and knowledge of the alliance in the countries of central and eastern Europe. Activities directed towards these ends are: visits to NATO by groups from NATO and co-operation partner countries, seminars, speaking tours, workshops, conferences in NATO and co-operation partner countries, the publication of the bi-monthly "NATO Review" and other publications designed to support NATO objectives, film, television and photographic coverage of NATO events and general support for the media in their coverage of NATO developments.