§ 11. Dr. Palmer
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if he will make a statement on the UK's priorities for EU overseas aid. 
Mr. Gareth Thomas
The UK Government's main objective for EC development co-operation is to improve its poverty focus and the effectiveness of its programmes. Our Public Service Agreement sets a target for increasing the proportion of EC overseas development assistance going to low-income countries to 70 per cent. by 2006.
Over the next year it will be important to engage the new European Parliament, Commission, and member states on developments issues and to continue to ensure development issues are adequately reflected in the debates on future financing and post Inter-governmental Conference discussions.