§ Ms Walley
To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry when in 2002 the inclusion of environmental criteria in respect of European procurement policy was discussed by her Department and the European Commission; and if she will make a statement. 
§ Miss Melanie Johnson
In the context of discussions with the European Commission and other Member States on the proposals to update, clarify and simplify the EC public procurement directives, my officials have covered a number of aspects of procurement policy, including the scope to use environmental criteria at each stage of the procurement process.
Political agreement on the proposals was reached at the Internal Market and Tourism Council on 21 May 2002.