European Scrutiny Committee

No. 3
(Session 2003-04)




ORAL EVIDENCE FROM RT  HON  PATRICIA HEWITT, MP ON THE DEPARTMENT OF TRADE AND INDUSTRY'S POLICY ON THE EU'S DRAFT CONSTITUTIONAL TREATY

 MONDAY 15 DECEMBER 2003

On Monday 15 December the European Scrutiny Committee will take evidence in public from Rt Hon Patricia  Hewitt MP, Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, on the Department's policy on the draft Treaty and in particular the extent of the Union's exclusive competence in competition matters and Union competence in relation to intellectual property rights.  This evidence session will take place at 5.30 pm in Committee Room No. 15 on the Main Committee Corridor, House of Commons.

For further information telephone 020 7219 6481/3292

11 December 2003

Note for Editors

The draft constitutional treaty was drawn up by the Convention on the Future of Europe, which consisted of government representatives, national parliamentarians, MEPs and members of the European Commission, and was chaired by Giscard d'Estaing. It is being considered by an Inter-Governmental Conference (IGC) which began in October 2003.  The IGC 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 constitutional treaty, subject to national ratification.

The European Scrutiny Committee published two Reports in Session 2002-03 on the Convention's proposals:  Twenty-fourth Report, 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 Committee

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
David Heathcoat-Amory MP - Conservative - Wells
Mark Hendrick MP - Labour - Preston
Jim Marshall MP - Labour - Leicester South
Angus Robertson MP - SNP - Moray
John Robertson MP - Labour - Glasgow Anniesland
Anthony Steen MP - Conservative - Totnes
Bill Tynan MP - Labour - Hamilton South

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

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