Formal Minutes

Wednesday 21 May 2008

Members present:

Michael Connarty, in the Chair
Mr David S Borrow
Mr James Clappison
Mr Greg Hands
Mr David Heathcoat-Amory
Keith Hill
Kelvin Hopkins
Mr Anthony Steen

1. Private Deliberative Session

2. The Committee met in public for the scrutiny of documents

Draft Report, proposed by the Chairman, brought up and read.

Ordered, That the draft Report be read a second time, paragraph by paragraph.

Paragraphs 1.1 to 4.19 read and agreed to.

A new paragraph €” ( Mr David Heathcoat-Amory.) €” brought up and read, as follows:

"We also note that the predecessor February 2006 White Paper on European Communications Strategy proposed "a fundamentally new approach", which was to include "genuine dialogue between the people and the policymakers and lively political discussion among citizens themselves" and people having "fair and full information about the European Union"; and that this was to involve "Improving measures to gauge public opinion"; and "Greater engagement between Member States, EU institutions and Civil Society Organisations.". We should accordingly be grateful if, in addition to the other information we have requested, the Minister would let us know if, under the proposals outlined in this Communication, it would be possible for a private organisation to apply for and obtain funding to carry out their own assessment of public opinion, including via a national referendum on Treaty changes."

Question put, That the paragraph be read a second time.

The Committee divided.

Ayes, 5

Noes, 2

Mr James Clappison

Mr David S Borrow

Mr Greg Hands

Keith Hill

Mr David Heathcoat-Amory

Kelvin Hopkins

Mr Anthony Steen

Paragraph agreed to.

Paragraphs 4.20 (now paragraph 4.21) to 14 agreed to.

Resolved, That the Report, as amended, be the Twenty-fourth Report of the Committee to the House.

Ordered, That the Chairman make the Report to the House.

3. Conference of Community and European Affairs Committees of the European Union Chairpersons

Resolved, That the Chairman visit Paris in July to attend the Conference of Community and European Affairs Committees of the European Union Chairpersons' meeting in a representative capacity.

[Adjourned till Wednesday 4 June at 2.15 p.m.