§ Denzil Davies
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what estimate has been made of the total annual cost to the EU Budget of establishing a European network for the protection of public figures as proposed by the Kingdom of Spain in a draft decision (Brussels 29 January 2002) (S361/02). 
§ Mr. Bob Ainsworth
The Spanish Presidency proposal for a council decision on a European Network for the Protection of Public Figures was not accompanied by a financial statement setting out the expected costs. Our own provisional assessment is that the proposal is unlikely to attract significant additional costs. Negotiations on the council decision are at an early stage and we do not expect the proposal to be discussed by Ministers before June 2002. The financial implications will be among the issues addressed by the United Kingdom delegation in the course of negotiations.