European Scrutiny Committee Press Notice No. 07

Session 2007-08, 4 February 2008

Parliament is Denied Scrutiny Process in the Preparation of European Council Conclusions.

The secretive manner in which the Conclusions of The European Council are prepared gives Parliament no opportunity to have any say in vital EU business matters, says the European Scrutiny Committee in a new report, today.

Speaking at the release of the report, entitled "The Conclusions of the European Council and the Council of Ministers", Committee Chairman, Michael Connarty says " We are extremely concerned by the Prime Minister's apparent ability to commit the UK to politically binding European Council conclusions, which have such a major influence on the direction of EU business, without needing to call for Parliamentary scrutiny."

Michael Connarty, Chairman of the Committee says, “ We have made two recommendations. Firstly, we recommend that the Government should discuss with other Member States the options for improving the process by which Council Conclusions are prepared and secondly, we recommend that the Government should give Parliament the opportunity to scrutinise the Conclusions while they are still in draft.”

 FURTHER INFORMATION:

1.  Committee Membership is as follows: Michael Connarty MP (Chairman), Labour, Mr Adrian Bailey   MP, Labour, Mr David S Borrow MP, Labour, Mr William Cash MP, Conservative, Mr James  Clappison MP, Conservative, Ms Katy Clark MP, Labour, Jim Dobbin MP, Labour/Co-op, Mr Greg Hands MP, Conservative, Mr David Heathcoat-Amory MP, Conservative, Keith Hill MP, Labour, Kelvin Hopkins MP, Labour, Mr Lindsay Hoyle MP, Labour, Mr Bob Laxton MP, Labour,   Angus Robertson MP, SNP, Mr Anthony Steen MP, Conservative, Richard Younger Ross MP, Lib Dem.

2.  Transcripts of the committee’s oral evidence session can be found on the Committee website at: http://www.parliament.uk/parliamentary_committees/european_scrutiny/european_scrutiny_reports_and_publications.cfm

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