HC Deb 21 October 2002 vol 391 c106W
Mr. Allen

To ask the President of the Council what percentage of hon. Members have used the facility of a visit to an EU institution in each of the years for which figures are available; and what steps he has taken to encourage greater take up of this facility. [73725]

Mr. Robin Cook

The number of hon. Members who have visited EU institutions under this scheme is as follows:

Year No of Members Percentage (%)
1998–9 65 9.9
1999–00 61 9.3
2000–1 72 10.9
2001–2 80 12.1
2002–3 (first six months) 76 11.5

The "quick guide" to members' allowances contains details of the entitlement. This was sent out to all Members in May, and further copies are available from the Department of Finance and Administration.

The House itself approved an amendment of the scheme on 9 May, to allow up to three visits each year to national parliaments of EU member states and those of candidate countries, in addition to EU institutions in Brussels, Strasbourg and Luxembourg.

I understand that Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) officials are ready to assist Members using the allowance, and I am pleased my hon. Friend has given me the opportunity to remind Members of its existence.