§ Mr. Whittingdale
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if she will make a statement about the future of the Phare and Tacis democracy programmes. 
§ Clare Short
An independent evaluation of the Democracy Programme was conducted late last year, confirming the value of the programme. A new draft Regulation—the legal basis for the Programme—has been tabled before the European Council, extending the programme to the former Yugoslavia. The Funds—15 mecu per annum in 1998—are to be disbursed in two ways. Firstly, small-scale NGO projects, i.e. projects initiated by beneficiaries, will be selected by the network of EU Delegations. Secondly, a limited number of larger-scale projects will be developed, including a continuation of the joint programme with the Council of Europe and joint programmes with other international organisations. The Commission is to tender the contract for the administration of the programme, currently being run by the European Human Rights Foundation. The Commission does not intend for there to be a call for proposals in 1998.
The Democracy Programme is complemented by the LIEN and Phare Partnership programmes, enhancing the capacity of non-governmental organisations and civil society development.223W