HC Deb 18 July 2002 vol 389 cc564-5W
Mr. Bercow

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the mandate of the Committee for the implementation of the Community action programme on preventive measures to fight violence against children, young persons and women (Daphne) is; how many times it has met over the last 12 months; what the UK representation on it is; what the annual cost of its work is to public funds; if he will list the items currently under its consideration; if he will take steps to increase its accountability and transparency to Parliament; and if he will make a statement. [58456]

Mr. Denham

The Daphne Committee assists the European Commission in the management and implementation of a programme which co-funds projects to promote the protection of children, young persons and women from violence and abuse. It normally meets twice a year, initially to agree the annual work programme and criteria for evaluating the selecting bids for funding and subsequently to discuss the bids which have been received and to agree the allocation of funds to successful projects.

The United Kingdom is represented on the Committee by a Home Office official (for issues concerning domestic violence and violence against women), an official from the Department of Health (for child protection issues) and an official from the United Kingdom Permanent Representation in Brussels.

The Daphne programme is funded by the European Community budget and travel costs to attend Committee meetings are met by the European Commission. The Home Office pays a subsistence allowance to cover attendance at a Committee meeting.

The Commission is required to prepare reports on the implementation of the programme in its second and final years which will be submitted to the Council and European Parliament. The reports will also be published in the EUROPA internet website. I do not see a need for further measures to increase the Committee's accountability and transparency.