European Scrutiny Committee press notice no. 19

Session 2006-07, 20 July 2007

Publication of the European Scrutiny Committee's 32nd Report of Session 2006-07:
European Commission's Annual Policy Strategy 2008

Each Spring the European Commission publishes its Annual Policy Strategy (APS) for the following year about the direction that the European Union will take during the following twelve months.‚ This is open for discussion and debate with the other EU Institutions and national parliaments and culminates in the publication, in the Autumn, of the Commission's Legislative and Work Programme.‚ This is a more concrete programme of likely policy and legislative proposals.

The European Scrutiny Committee carried out an inquiry into the 2008 APS, focusing on the process and drawing on submissions from a range of external organisations, and Departmental Select Committees. Public Evidence Sessions took place with two think-tanks, Open Europe and the Federal Trust;‚ the Head of the European Commission Representation to the UK, Reijo Kemppinen; the Minister for Europe, Jim Murphy MP; and the Vice-President of the European Commission with responsibility for relations with national parliaments, Margot Wallstràm. During the course of the inquiry, four questions emerged from the oral and written evidence:

₠Does the APS provide a suitable basis for the dialogue the Commission says it wants?

₠Does the APS ring any alarm bells about subsidiarity and competence?

₠Is the APS useful to the Government and the House?

₠Can we suggest ways to improve the process?

The report examines these four questions and makes suggestions for ways in which the process could be improved in future years. Some comments were received from Select Committees on matters of policy in the Commission's APS. The outcome of the inquiry is set out in the Committee's 32nd Report of Session 2006-07. It will be published at 11am on Monday 23 July.

For more information and requests to receive copies, please contact Alex Paterson (Contact details above).

Note for Editors

The European Scrutiny Committee reports to the House on the legal and political importance of each EU document and recommends EU documents for debate. Such debates take place either in a European Standing Committee or on the Floor of the House. The Committee normally reports weekly on a range of documents when the House is sitting.‚

The Committee has 16 Members, as follows: Michael Connarty MP (Chairman), Labour, David Borrow MP, Labour, William Cash MP, Conservative, James Clappison MP, Conservative, Katy Clark MP, Labour, Wayne David MP, Labour, Jim Dobbin MP, Labour/Co-op, Nia Griffith MP, Labour, Greg Hands MP, Conservative, David Heathcoat-Amory MP, Conservative, Kelvin Hopkins MP, Labour,‚ Lindsay Hoyle MP, Labour, Bob Laxton MP, Labour, Angus Robertson MP, SNP, Anthony Steen MP, Conservative, Richard Younger Ross MP, Lib Dem

The text of all Committee publications, including Press Notices and Reports, can be found on the Committee's website:‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚
http://www.parliament.uk/escom

FURTHER INFORMATION:

Specific Committee Information:‚ Tel 020 7219 5467/3292, [email protected]

Media Enquiries: Alex Paterson, Tel 020 7219 1589, 07917 488 488, email - [email protected]

Committee Website: www.parliament.uk/escom

Watch committees and parliamentary debates online:‚ www.parliamentlive.tv

Publications / Reports / Reference Material: Copies of all select committee reports are available from the Parliamentary Bookshop (12 Bridge St, Westminster, 020 7219 3890) or the Stationery Office (0845 7023474).‚ Committee reports, press releases, evidence transcripts, Bills; research papers, a directory of MPs, plus Hansard (from 8am daily) and much more, can be found on www.parliament.uk