To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions he has had with the European Parliament concerning human rights violations in Algeria under the European Union Algeria Association Agreement; and what plans he has to introduce measures to increase the level of aid to that country. 
§ Mr. MacShane
My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs has not discussed with the European Parliament human rights violations in Algeria under the EU/Algeria Association Agreement. The Agreement was signed on 22 April 2002, but is not yet in force. Member states, the European Community and Algeria must all ratify the Agreement before it can come into force. When the Agreement does enter into force the EU will be in a position to monitor closely Algeria's adherence to the human rights principles laid out in the Association Agreement.
The European Parliament debated the conclusion of the EU/Algerian Association Agreement on 10 October 2002. The Parliament welcomed the plan to conclude the Agreement and hoped that the Agreement would give decisive impetus to the political and economic reforms required to improve the economic and social situation in Algeria. The European Parliament also highlighted its concerns over Algeria's human rights record.785W
The UK's bilateral development programme is focused on the poorest countries, particularly those of sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. The Government have no plans to reintroduce a bilateral development programme in Algeria, which is a middle income country. Nor do we intend to press the EC to expand its development programme in the country.
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the ratification of the EU-Algeria Association Agreement. 
§ Mr. MacShane
The Government have initiated the process for UK ratification of the EU/Algeria Association Agreement, the text of which is contained in Command Paper 5804, laid before Parliament on 9 May 2003. I anticipate that the agreement will be debated in Parliament in this session, and that the UK's ratification procedures will be completed by February 2004. The agreement will enter into force when all parties—EU member states, the European Community and Algeria—have ratified.