§ The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Trade and Industry (Lord Sainsbury of Turville)
My honourable friend the Minister for Trade and Investment (Douglas Alexander) has made the following Written Statement:
On 14 June 2004 my right honourable friend the Minister for Industry and the Regions, (Official Report, Commons, cols. 19–20WS), announced that the European Commission had published proposals for amending the guidelines that govern regional state aid, which define assisted areas and aid intensities allowed within them, for the period 1 January 2007 to 31 December 2013, and that her department would shortly be issuing a consultation document seeking the views of all interested parties on the Commission's proposals.
My department today published the results of that consultation exercise. Copies of the summary of responses, and the Government's latest letter to the Commission, have been placed in the Libraries of the House. The Commission issued a further paper on its approach before Christmas, and is to hold a first joint meeting with national officials on 1 and 2 February. It then plans to issue detailed proposals in May, for adoption in September this year. The Commission's further paper is available on its website and my department has written to consultees drawing their attention to it.