§ Malcolm Bruce
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment has been made by the Government of the potential for legislation at a European level to combat the trade in illegally harvested timber; and if he will make a statement. 
§ Mr. Meacher
In its communication to the Council and the European Parliament of 13 February 2002 on a global partnership for sustainable development, the Commission stated that it will develop an European Union (EU) action plan by end 2002 on forest law enforcement, governance and trade and to strengthen international co-operation to address violations of forest law.
An international workshop on Forest Law Enforcement Governance and Trade, including measures to combat illegal logging, was hosted by the European Commission in Brussels on 22–24 April 2002 to help develop its action plan. The workshop discussed what measures could be taken by wood-producing and importing countries to combat illegal logging and the associated trade in illegally logged wood products.
We supported the conclusions of the workshop that recognise the need for legislation to enforce the control of access to the EU market of illegally logged timber and timber products. The EU plan of action will include consideration of legislative requirements.