Written Answers. - EU Presidency.

Seamus Brennan

Question:

524 Mr. S. Brennan asked the Minister for Social Welfare the estimated total cost to his Department of all bulletins, pamphlets, newsletters and circulars arising from Ireland's Presidency of the EU; and the estimated total additional cost to his Department of Ireland's Presidency, indicating the major items of expense. [16391/96]

I refer the Deputy to my reply to Question No. 749 of 25 July 1996, to his colleague, Deputy Martin. This refers to an information leaflet which summarises the main themes and challenges facing the Irish Presidency of the European Union and sets out the main social welfare issues and events during these six months. A total of 8,000 leaflets have been produced at a cost of £2,850.

My Department is also sharing the cost equally, with the Departments of Enterprise and Employment, and Equality and Law Reform, of the brochure "Action on Employment and Social Policy: Objectives of the Irish Presidency". To date, the design costs are £2,044.90, of which the cost to my Department is one third. Final details of the printing costs have yet to be determined.

Other publications arising from my Department's work programme under the EU Presidency are, for example, conference brochures for, or reports on, forthcoming events in October and November 1996. It is estimated that these will cost £18,500, the bulk of which relates to the publication of a report on the contributions to the conference "Beyond Equal Treatment: Social Security in a Changing Europe", which will take place from 10-12 October 1996. This conference is being grant-aided by the European Commission to approximately 70 per cent of the overall cost.

The cost incurred by the Department of Social Welfare in relation to Ireland's Presidency of the EU has been estimated at £300,000 and it is expected that spending will be within this figure. With regard to the major items of expense, these relate generally to the costs of hosting conferences and include, for instance, travel and accommodation for conference delegates. However, full and final details of these costs are not, at present, available.