Written Answers. - Ministerial Meetings.


49 Mr. Hayes asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs if he will report on his recent meeting with the President of the European Parliament. [8246/98]

I had a useful and broad ranging discussion on 4 March with President Gil-Robles on the current EU agenda. The principal points addressed in this context were Agenda 2000; enlargement and the proposed common statute for members of the European Parliament.

As regards Agenda 2000, I outlined to President Gil-Robles our concerns that there should be adequate transitional arrangements for regions which cease to qualify for full Objective 1 status and that there should be adequate compensation for producers for any cuts in agricultural market support.

We also discussed China and Algeria. In addition, I took the opportunity to brief President Gil-Robles on developments in the Northern Ireland talks process and to express my appreciation of the European Parliament's support for the PEACE programme and for the International Fund for Ireland.