Nearly £3m has been provided by the European Parliament to help train lawyers and judges in the use of EU law.

Ministers have approved the Robert Schuman action scheme which was designed to enable EU citizens to rely on European law by ensuring lawyers and judges are properly trained.

The scheme will fund a number of projects which will be tendered for when an application form appears in the 1997 Official Journal of the EC.

They will include training courses for lawyers, information resources and a combination of the two.

Organisations eligible for funds include bar associations, law societies, ministries of justice, professional schools and universities.

The Commission will fund up to 30 per cent of the total cost of each project, with the maximum grant to each limited to £21,000.

Last month, ministers approved funding for the Grotius programme. It will support projects to help lawyers learn the laws of EC member states.