In 1995 my Department received an additional £3.5 million for Presidency preparations. This year, the allocation for the Presidency is £8.704 million. Most of the Presidency budget is being used to cover the cost of salaries for additional temporary staff, extra travel and subsistence expenses, additional accommodation, communications and IT expenses and additional expenditure on press and information activities. The allocation for press and information services is being used by the relevant sections of my Department to produce information materials to promote Ireland's image and interests abroad and to provide services for the international media who are focusing on Ireland during our Presidency. As part of a special information effort for the EU Presidency, the following material has been produced: a pamphlet outlining Ireland's Presidency responsibilities and priorities; an information sheet on Ireland and the EU setting out our experience of EU membership; a booklet on The Economy highlighting our economic achievements; and Ireland in Brief, published in a range of languages, which has factual information on all aspects of Irish life.
In addition, the Department has produced two booklets on Pointers for the Irish Presidency, and on Common Foreign and Security Policy. These publications are designed to serve the needs of participants in EU Presidency meetings, visiting delegations and the international media. They are also distributed through Irish Missions abroad. The final cost of these information materials is not yet available but is estimated at £100,000 approximately.