HC Deb 11 December 2002 vol 396 cc380-1W
Mrs. Browning

To ask the Prime Minister pursuant to his answer of 4 December to the hon. Member for North-West Norfolk,Official Report, column 898, which areas of social policy have been influenced by signing the social chapter which would not have been had the UK not signed it. [86747]

The Prime Minister

[holding answer 10 December 2002]The Government are determined to tackle unemployment and social exclusion both at home and throughout the European Union. Signing the social chapter has allowed us to influence the broad direction of EU social policy, and to ensure that employment creation has been put at the heart of the Lisbon agenda for economic reform. Since 1997, over 10 million new jobs have been created in the EU, 6 million of which have been taken up by women, and the number of unemployed has fallen by over 4 million. This has provided a route out of social exclusion for many millions of European citizens.