§ Mr. Wigley
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations he has made to the President of the European Commission concerning the future size of European structural funds; and if he will make a statement. 
§ Mrs. Roche
I have been asked to reply.
The Government believe that the Structural Funds need to be fair, affordable, durable, simpler, and more efficient. The overall budget should be well below the 0.46 per cent. of Community GNP proposed by the Commission, before and after enlargement.
Representations by UK Ministers and Officials have been made to the Commission, outlining our support for containing the cost of the Funds.
Discussions on finance are likely to take place towards the end of the year and will continue into early 1999. It is too early in the negotiations to comment on the size of the European Structural and Cohesion Funds.