LORDS

Committee Work Round Up: July-October 2012

26 October 2012

Current Inquiries

On 10 October, the EU Select Committee launched an inquiry into the EU's enlargement policy. The Committee has issued a public Call for Evidence and will begin hearing from witnesses on 13 November. In September, the Agriculture, Fisheries, Environment and Energy Sub-Committee launched an inquiry into the EU's energy policy.

The Economic and Financial Affairs Sub-Committee is undertaking an inquiry into reform of the EU banking sector, taking evidence from a number of key witnesses, including President Van Rompuy, Commissioner Barnier, and the German Ambassador, H.E. Boomgaarden.

The Home Affairs, Health and Education Sub-Committee's inquiry into global migration and mobility is continuing to take evidence and has recently heard from the Chairman of Migration Watch UK and a panel of academics.

The Justice, Institutions and Consumer Protection Sub-Committee continues its inquiry into fraud against EU finances and will soon be visiting Brussels to take oral evidence from orgnaisations such as OLAF and Eurojust.

The Internal Market, Infrastructure and Employment Sub-Committee has concluded evidence-taking for its inquiry into quotas for female representatives on boards, and it is expected that the Committee will report in the next few weeks.

Reports, debates, and follow-up work

The EU Select Committee received a response from the Government to its report into the EU multiannual financial framework from 2014 in July. The Committee has followed up the ongoing negotiations on the MFF with the Financial Secretary to the Treasury in correspondence, and will be questioning the Minister for Europe on 1 November.

The Agriculture Sub-Committee's report into the EU Sugar Regime was published in September. The Sub-Committee also received a response from the EU Commission to its report on the EU's freshwater policy in September.

The External Affairs Sub-Committee published its follow-up report on Somali piracy in August, and the report was debated in the House on Wednesday 17 October. The Committee's report on the EU's defence capabilities was also debated on Wednesday 24 October.

The report by the former Sub-Committee on Social Policies and Consumer Protection into the modernisation of higher education within the EU was debated in the House on Thursday 11 October.

On 22 October, the Internal Market Sub-Committee held an oral evidence session with the Minister for Transport to follow up the Committee's report on completing the European rail market, and the Committee's disappointment with the Government's response to the report.

Scrutiny work

On 24 October, the Justice and Institutions Sub-Committee heard oral evidence from the Minister for Employment Relations and Consumer Affairs regarding EU proposals for dispute resolution for consumer disputes.

The Sub-Committees on Home Affairs and Justice and Institutions continue their co-operation in scrutinising the UK Government's proposed opt-out on justice and home affairs matters, and an inquiry will be launched by the two committees in due course.

Visits

On 8-9 July, the Chairman attended the COSAC Chairpersons meeting in Cyprus. The Chairman, along with the Chairmen of the Internal Market and Agricultural Sub-Committees, also represented the House at the COSAC plenary meeting in Cyprus on 15-16 October.

On 22 October, the Chairman attended the ECUK meeting in Belfast, meeting the Chairs of the EU Select Committee's counterparts in the House of Commons, Northern Ireland Assembly, Scottish Parliament and Welsh Assembly. The ECUK meeting discussed issues of mutual interest, including the MFF, and institutional co-operation, and also received an informal briefing on the forthcoming Irish Presidency.

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