Select Committee on European Legislation Seventh Report



The Select Committee on European Legislation is appointed under
Standing Order No.143, viz:

Select Committee on European Legislation

  143.-(1) There shall be a select committee, to be called the Select Committee on European Legislation, to examine European Community Documents and-

  (a)  to report its opinion on the legal and political importance of each such document and, where it considers appropriate, to report also on the reasons for its opinion and on any matters of principle, policy or law which may be affected;

  (b)  to make recommendations for the further consideration of any such document pursuant to Standing Order No.119 (European Standing Committees); and

  (c)  to consider any issue arising upon any such document or group of documents.

  The expression "European Community Documents" means-

    (i)  any proposal under the Community treaties for legislation by the Council of Ministers;

    (ii)  any document which is published for submission to the European Council or the Council of Ministers;

    (iii)  any document (not falling within (ii) above) which is published by one Community institution for or with a view to submission to another Community institution and which does not relate exclusively to consideration of any proposal for legislation;

    (iv)  any other document relating to European Community matters deposited in the House by a Minister of the Crown.

  (2) The committee shall consist of sixteen members.

  (3) The committee and any sub-committee appointed by it shall have the assistance of the Counsel to the Speaker.

  (4) The committee shall have the power to appoint specialist advisers for the purpose of particular enquiries, either to supply information which is not readily available or to elucidate matters of complexity within the committee's order of reference.

  (5) The committee shall have power to send for persons, papers and records; to sit notwithstanding any adjournment of the House; to adjourn from place to place; and to report from time to time.

  (6) The quorum of the committee shall be five.

  (7) The committee shall have power to appoint sub-committees and to refer to such sub-committees any of the matters referred to the committee.

  (8) Every such sub-committee shall have power to send for persons, papers and records; to sit notwithstanding any adjournment of the House; to adjourn from place to place; and to report to the committee from time to time.

  (9) The committee shall have power to report from time to time the minutes of evidence taken before such sub-committees.

  (10) The quorum of every such sub-committee shall be two.

  (11) The committee or any sub-committee appointed by it shall have leave to confer and to meet concurrently with any committee of the Lords on the European Communities or any sub-committee of that committee for the purpose of deliberating and of examining witnesses.

  (12) Unless the House otherwise orders, each member nominated to the committee shall continue to be a member of it for the remainder of the Parliament.

Tuesday 15 July 1997

The following were nominated as members of the Select Committee on European Legislation:


Mr Norman Baker Mrs Linda Gilroy
Ms Hazel Blears Mr Jimmy Hood
Mr Ben Bradshaw Ms Jenny Jones
Mr Russell Brown Mrs Anne McGuire
Mr Roger Casale Mr Jim Marshall
Mr William Cash Mr Bill Rammell
Mr Quentin Davies Mr Anthony Steen
Mrs Margaret Ewing Mr Shaun Woodward



Mr Jimmy Hood was elected Chairman, 16 July 1997

Tuesday 22 July 1997: Mr Andrew Tyrie discharged; Mr Quentin Davies appointed.



Resolution of the House of 24 October 1990[1]

  Resolved, That, in the opinion of this House:-

  (1) No Minister of the Crown should give agreement in the Council of Ministers to any proposal for European Community legislation-

  (a)  which is still subject to scrutiny (that is, on which the Select Committee on European Legislation has not completed its scrutiny) or

  (b)  which is awaiting consideration by the House (that is, which has been recommended by the Select Committee for consideration pursuant to Standing Order No.102 (European Standing Committees) but in respect of which the House has not come to a Resolution, either on a Resolution reported by a European Standing Committee or otherwise).

  (2) In this Resolution, any reference to agreement to a proposal includes, in the case of a proposal on which the Council acts in co-operation with the European Parliament, agreement to a common position.

  (3) The Minister concerned may, however, give agreement:-

  (a)  to a proposal which is still subject to scrutiny if he considers that it is confidential, routine or trivial or is substantially the same as a proposal on which scrutiny has been completed;

  (b)  to a proposal which is awaiting consideration by the House if the Select Committee has indicated that agreement need not be withheld pending consideration.

  (4) The Minister concerned may also give agreement to a proposal which is still subject to scrutiny or awaiting consideration by the House if he decides that for special reasons agreement should be given; but he should explain his reasons-

    (i)  in every such case, to the Select Committee at the first opportunity after reaching his decision; and

    (ii)  in the case of a proposal awaiting consideration by the House, to the House at the first opportunity after giving agreement.

  (5) In relation to any proposal which requires adoption by unanimity, abstention shall, for the purposes of paragraph (4), be treated as giving agreement.


Notes

  1.  Three separate numbering systems are used in this Report to designate Community documents.

  Numbers in brackets are the Committee's own reference numbers.

  Numbers in the form 5467/97 are Council of Ministers reference numbers; this system is also employed by United Kingdom Government Departments and the Vote Office and for the purpose of proceedings in the House.

  Numbers preceded by the letters COM or SEC are Commission reference numbers; this style is also employed by the European Parliament.

  The absence of both a Council of Ministers and Commission reference number usually indicates that at the time of the Report only an unnumbered Explanatory Memorandum from the responsible Government Department was deposited in the House.

  2.  Details of the progress of European Community Documents recommended by the Committee for further consideration may be found in the European Community Documents List which is circulated every sitting Monday in the Vote Bundle.

  3.  The financial data in European Community Documents are normally expressed in European Currency Units (ECU). Following sterling's suspension from the Exchange Rate Mechanism, conversions into sterling relating to present and future years included in the Government's Explanatory Memoranda are normally made at the market rate for the last working day of the previous month. For Explanatory Memoranda submitted in July 1997, the conversion rate is £1 = 1.4737 ECU (1 ECU = £0.6786). For Explanatory Memoranda submitted in August 1997, the conversion rate is £1 = 1.5149 ECU (1 ECU = £0.6601). For Explanatory Memoranda submitted in September 1997, the conversion rate is £1 = 1.4178 ECU (1 ECU £0.6766). For Explanatory Memoranda submitted in October 1997, the conversion rate is £1 = 1.4501 ECU (1 ECU = £0.6896).

  4.  The following terms and abbreviations are used regularly in Reports from the Committee:-

  `A' point   An item on the Council Agenda which is not controversial, and needs no discussion. If any Member State objects to an item being taken as an `A' point, that business is dropped from the agenda.`B' points are those expected to give rise to debate.

  CCA  Compliance Cost Assessment

  COREPER  Committee of Permanent Representatives

  ECJ  European Court of Justice

  ECSC  European Coal and Steel Community

  ECU  European Currency Unit

  EM  Explanatory Memorandum

  OJ  Official Journal

  SEM  Supplementary Explanatory Memorandum.

  Tag  An italic rubric attached to a Motion in the House or European Standing Committee, listing documents relevant to debate on that Motion.


1  C.J., 1989-90, p.646. Back


 
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Prepared 27 November 1997