European Scrutiny Committee

No. 21
(Session 2002-03)


On Wednesday 10 September the European Scrutiny Committee will take evidence in public from Rt Hon Jack Straw MP,  Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs on the Inter-Governmental Conference on the draft treaty establishing a constitution for Europe.  This evidence session will take place at 2 pm in  Committee Room No. 8 on the main Committee Corridor, House of Commons.

For further information  telephone 020 7219 5467/3292

8 September 2003

Note for Editors

The Convention on the Future of Europe was established by the European Council's Laeken Declaration of December 2001, which determined its composition, mandate and working methods. It consisted of government representatives, national parliamentarians, MEPs and members of the European Commission, and was chaired by Giscard d'Estaing. It began meeting in February 2002 and has compiled a draft constitutional treaty or constitution to replace the existing treaties.  The draft treaty will be considered by an Inter-Governmental Conference which is due to begin in October.  The Conference consists of the Heads of State and Government of the countries of the European Union and of the accession countries (eight countries in eastern Europe and Cyprus and Malta).  It will be the IGC which makes the final decisions on the draft treaty, subject to national ratification.

The European Scrutiny Committee has recently published two Reports on the Convention:  Twenty-fourth Report of Session 2002-03, The Convention on the Future of Europe and the Role of National Parliaments (HC 63-xxiv) and Twenty-sixth Report, The Convention's proposals on criminal justice (HC 63-xxvi).

The main purpose of the European Scrutiny Committee is to report to the House on the legal and political importance of each EU document and to determine which EU documents are debated.  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 also monitors business in the Council of Ministers, especially the activities of UK Ministers in the Council, and produces occasional reports on wider EU developments.  

The Committee has 16 Members, as follows:

Jimmy Hood MP (Chairman) - Labour - Clydesdale
Richard Bacon MP - Conservative - South Norfolk
Colin Breed MP - Lib Dem - Cornwall South East
William Cash MP - Conservative - Stone
Michael Connarty MP - Labour - Falkirk East
Tony Cunningham MP - Labour - Workington
Wayne David MP - Labour - Caerphilly
Terry Davis MP - Labour - Birmingham Hodge Hill
Jim Dobbin MP - Labour/Co-op - Heywood & Middleton
Mark Hendrick MP - Labour - Preston
Jim Marshall MP - Labour - Leicester South
Anne McIntosh MP - Conservative - Vale of York
Angus Robertson MP - SNP - Moray
John Robertson MP - Labour - Glasgow Anniesland
Anthony Steen MP - Conservative - Totnes
Bill Tynan MP - Labour - Hamilton South

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