Economic and Financial Affairs, and International Trade (Sub-Committee A)

Reports and Publications

Full list of the House of Lords European Union Committee's reports and publications

This page has information on Sub-Committee A reports for the following sessions, please use these links: Session 2008-09 | Session 2007-08 | Session 2006-07 | Session 2005-06 | Session 2004-05 | Session 2003-04 | Session 2002-03 | Session 2001-02 | Session 2000-01 | Session 1999-2000 | Session 1998-99 | Session 1997-98 | Session 1996-97

Session 2009-10

The future regulation of derivatives markets: is the EU on the right track?

The Committee published its report on the future regulation of derivatives markets: is the EU on the right track? The report was published on 31 March 2010

Tenth report - PDF version

Directive on Alternative Investment Fund Managers

The Committee published its report on the Directive on Alternative Investment Fund Managers. The report was published on 10 February 2010.

Third report - PDF version
Third report - HTML version

Session 2008-09

The EC Budget 2010

The Committee published its report on The EC Budget 2010. The report was published on 30 July 2009.

Twentieth report - PDF version

The future of EU financial regulation and supervision

The Committee published its report on the future of EU financial regulation and supervision. The report was published on 17 June 2009.

Fourteenth report - PDF version
Fourteenth report - HTML version
Government Response (4 August 2009)
European Commission Response (26 October 2009)

EU Legislative Initiatives in response to the Financial Turmoil

The Committee published its report on EU Legislative Initiatives in response to the Financial Turmoil. The report was published on 15 December 2008.

First report - PDF version

Session 2007-08

Developments in EU Trade Policy

The Committee published its report on Developments in EU Trade Policy. The report was published on 5 December 2008

Thirty-fifth report - PDF version
Thirty-fifth report - HTML version
Government Response (6 April 2009)
European Commission (19 March 2009)

The Future of EU Regional Policy

The Committee published its report on The Future of Regional Policy. The report was published on 16 July 2008.

Nineteenth report - PDF version
Nineteenth report - HTML version
Government Response (14 October 2008)

The 2009 EC Budget

The Committee has now published its report on The 2009 EC Budget. The report was published on 15 July 2008.

Eighteenth report - PDF version
Eighteenth report - HTML version
Government Response (16 August 2008)

The euro

The Committee has now published its report on The euro. The report was published on 1 May 2008.

Thirteenth report - PDF version
Thirteenth report - HTML version

Solvency II

The Committee published its report on Solvency II. The report was published on 6 February 2008.

Sixth report - PDF version
Government Response (7 July 2008)

Current Developments in European Trade Policy

The Committee published its report into Current Developments in European Trade Policy. The report was published on 28 November 2007.

First report - HTML version
First report - PDF version

Session 2006-07

The 2008 EC Budget

The Committee has now published its report into The 2008 EC Budget. The report was published on 30 July 2007.

Thirty third report - HTML version
Thirty third report - PDF version

Stopping the Carousel: Missing Trader Fraud in the EU

The Committee has now published its report into Stopping the Carousel: Missing Trader Fraud in the EU. The report was published on 25 May 2007.

Twentieth report - HTML report
Twentieth report - PDF report
Government response

Financial Management and Fraud in the European Union: Responses to the Report

The Committee has now published the responses to the Financial Management and Fraud in the European Union report. The report was published on 11 May 2007.

Nineteenth report - HTML version
Nineteenth report - PDF version

Funding the European Union

The Committee has now published its report into Funding the European Union. The report was published on 14 March 2007.

Twelfth report - HTML version
Twelfth report - PDF version

Session 2005-06

Financial Management and Fraud in the European Union: Perceptions, Facts and Proposals

The Committee has now published its report into Financial Management and Fraud in the European Union: Perceptions, Facts and Proposals. The report was published on 13 November 2006.

Fiftieth report - HTML version (Report)
Fiftieth report - PDF version (Report)
Fiftieth report - HTML version (Evidence)
Fiftieth report - PDF version (Evidence)
Government Response

The 2007 EC Budget

The Committee has now published its report into The 2007 EC Budget. The report was published on 10 July 2006.

Thirty Ninth report - HTML version
Thirty Ninth report - PDF version

A European Strategy for Jobs and Growth

The Committee has now published its report into A European Strategy for Jobs and Growth. The report was published on 16 March 2006.

Twenty Eighth report - HTML version
Twenty Eighth report - PDF version

The World Trade Organization: The Hong Kong Ministerial 13-18 December

The Committee has now published a report on the WTO Hong Kong Ministerial being held in December 2005. The report was published on 1 December 2005.

Seventeenth report - HTML version
Seventeenth report - PDF version

The 2006 EC Budget

The Committee has published a report on the 2006 EC Budget.

Fifth report - HTML version
Fifth report - PDF version

Session 2004-05

Proposal to Ban Trade in Products used for Capital Punishment or Torture

The Committee has now published a report on the proposal to ban trade in products used for capital punishment or torture.

Eighth report - HTML version
Eighth Report -PDF version

The Stability and Growth Pact

The Committee has now published a report on the proposed reforms of the Stability and Growth Pact.

Seventh report - HTML version
Seventh Report - PDF version

Future Financing of the European Union

The Sub-Committee has completed its inquiry into the future financing of the European Union. The report was published on 9 March 2005.

Sixth Report - HTML version
Sixth Report - PDF version
Press notice

Session 2003-04

The 2005 Budget

In July 2004, the Committee produced a short report to inform the House of issues pertaining to the 2005 EC Budget, and to scrutinise the Goverment's position before the commission's Preliminary Draft Budget was considered at the Budget council on 16 July 2004. This was the first full budget to be presented for an EU of 25 Member States and therefore the first time that the ten new Member States were able to participate fully in the negotiations.

Twenty-First Report - HTML Version
Twenty-First Report - PDF Version

The World Trade Organization: the Role of the EU post Cancàºn

Sixteenth Report - HTML Version
Sixteenth Report - PDF Version

Session 2002-03

The European Central Bank

In October 2003, the Committee produced a report that asked the question 'Is the European Central Bank Working'? In its report, the Committee reviewed the operations of the ECB so far and assessed its monetary policy decisions. The Committee also examined the central bank's monetary policy strategy and considered issues around the structure and governance of the bank, as well as the broader question of the institutional arrangements for the economic governance of the EU as a whole and the euro area in particular.

The Committee concluded that the ECB had performed well so far given its mandate.

The Committee made four key recommendations:

  • The ECB should adopt a symmetrical inflation target.

  • The ECB should publish records of meetings of the Governing Council in which the reasoning and various arguments behind monetary policy decisions would be spelled out clearly but not attributed.

  • The monetary-policy decisions of the ECB should be taken by a small Monetary Policy Council, composed of the Executive Board and external experts, which would operate under the oversight of the current Governing Council, where all the Member States of the euro area are represented.

  • The arrangements for communication between the ECB and the Eurogroup need to be strengthened. There should be an enhanced policy dialogue and exchange of information between the ECB and the Member States of the euro area.

Forty-Second Report HTML Version
Forty-Second Report PDF Version

Government Response
Related Debate in the House

The 2004 EC Budget

In July 2003, the Committee produced a short report to inform the House of issues pertaining to the EC Budget generally and the 2004 Budget in particular. In its report, the Committee examined the Commission's Preliminary Draft Budget for 2004, which represents the first stage in the annual budgetary procedure, and analysed the Government's priorities for the subsequent negotiations on the 2004 budget. The Committee also discussed in the report a number of changes to the budgetary process proposed by the Convention on the Future of Europe, which were incorporated in the draft EU constitutional Treaty, presented to the European Council in Thessaloniki on 20 June by the Chairman of the Convention, Valà©ry Giscard d'Estaing.

Thirty-Third Report - HTML Version
Thirty-Third Report - PDF Version

Government Response - PDF format

The Taxation of Fuel in the European Union

The Sub-Committee conducted a brief inquiry into the Commission's proposal to harmonise tax arrangements for diesel fuel used for commercial purposes and to align the excise duties on petrol and diesel fuel: Commission document COM(02) 410. The proposal, dated 24 July 2002, had two principal aims. First, to introduce by January 2010 a single excise duty rate of â€350/1000 litres on commercial diesel fuel for all EU member states - with the allowable fluctuation on either side of the common rate narrowing each year from 2004 until full convergence. Secondly, to introduce by January 2006 a common minimum excise duty rate of â€360/1000 litres on petrol and non-commercial diesel fuel. The UK Government noted that the implementation of the proposal would reduce UK rates by more than 50% and estimated a net loss of revenue to the Treasury of around ‚£2 billion per annum.

The dual focus of the inquiry was to (a) to examine the merits of the Commission's proposal in relation to its declared objectives - namely, eliminating distortions to the internal market arising from differences in tax rates between member states, and aligning transport prices more closely to the real costs of transport use; and (b) to examine the impact of the proposal on the UK in relation to the reform of haulage taxation proposed in Budget 2002 and the Government's broader transport policy objectives.

The Committee found that, because of countervailing differences in other taxes and costs, the existing differences in rates of fuel taxation did not serve to distort competition in the haulage market.

The Committee accepted the need for minimum rates of fuel duty in the EU-especially in the context of EU enlargement-as, without a floor, some Member States might set off a 'race to the bottom', which would have a negative impact on government revenues and the environment. The Committee considered that the requirement for reasonable minimum rates had already been met by other legislation (namely, the agreed Energy Tax Directive).

The Committee concluded that the Commission's proposal to harmonise duty rates on commercial diesel fuel did not contribute to making transport users to face up to the real costs of transport-for the EU as a whole, it would move taxation in the opposite direction because it would reduce the average level of fuel duty and have a negative overall impact on the environment.

The Committee therefore called on the Commission to withdraw its proposal.

Twenty-Fourth Report - HTML Version
Twenty-Fourth Report - PDF Version

Government Response - PDF format

The Stability and Growth Pact

Between December 2002 and March 2003, Sub-Committee A conducted an inquiry on the Stability and Growth Pact (SGP). The Report, published on 18 March 2003, reviewed how the SGP was functioning and examined the ways in which it could be amended. The Sub-Committee considered in particular the Commission's proposals for revising the interpretation and implementation of the SGP.

The Report concluded that the European Union did need a Stability and Growth Pact, but the Committee made a number of proposals to reform the interpretation of the Pact. The Committee also recommended ways to reform the surveillance and enforcement of the Pact.

Thirteenth Report - HTML version
Thirteenth Report - PDF Version

Government Response - PDF format

Related debate in the House

Review of Scrutiny of EU Financial Affairs

During the autumn of 2002, Sub-Committee A₠held a series of private seminars on the EC Budget. Following these sessions, the Sub-Committee prepared a Memorandum on the scrutiny of EU Financial Affairs for the Select Committee's inquiry reviewing the scrutiny of European legislation. The Sub-Committee made a number of recommendations about how the House of Lords should scrutinise EU Financial Affairs, including scrutiny of the annual EC Budget. The text of this document can be found in Annex 5 of the Select Committee's Report (pp.55-63).

First Report - HTML version
First Report - PDF version

Government Response - PDF format

Session 2001-02

The Review of the EC Merger Regulation

Between April and June 2002, Sub-Committee A conducted an inquiry based on the European Commission's Green Paper reviewing the EC Merger Regulation. The Report, published at the end of July 2002, examined the ways in which the ECMR could be amended to meet the challenges posed by global mergers, further market integration, the introduction of the euro and, perhaps most importantly, the enlargement of the European Union. The Sub-Committee also considered how the commission could best address criticisms over its handling of cases and the perceived absence of checks and balances on its decisions. The Report makes recommendations for reform of the European merger control regime.

Thirty-second Report - HTML version
Thirty-second Report - PDF version


Government Response - PDF format

Related debate in the House

EU Aid to the Balkans

The European Union is by far the single largest donor to that region of South Eastern Europe which is informally identified by the EU Commission as the Western Balkans. This area covers Albania, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Croatia, the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY-Serbia/Montenegro), FRY-Kosovo and Macedonia. The EU provided â€5.5 billion in assistance in the period 1991-2000 and pledged at least â€4.65 billion to the region through its country programmes for the period 2001-06.

In March 2000, the Commission sent a report to the Lisbon European Council setting out a new long-term approach to the Western Balkans. The report candidly acknowledged some of the failings of EU policy in the region and suggested ways in which it might be improved.

Then, in May 2000, the Commission launched a major overhaul of the EU's management of its external assistance programmes worldwide.

These two developments persuaded the Sub-Committee that it was important to examine how EU aid to the Western Balkans was being planned, delivered, implemented and evaluated. The Sub-Committee launched its inquiry in July 2001 immediately after the general election and published its report (Responding to the Balkan Challenge: The Role of EU Aid) in April 2002.

Twentieth Report - HTML version

Related debate in the House

Government Response - PDF format

Session 2000-01

The European Court of Auditors: The Case for Reform
Twelfth Report - HTML Version

Related debate in the House

Government Response - PDF format

Session 1999-2000

How is the Euro Working?
Eighteenth Report - HTML Version

Related debate in the House

Government Response - PDF format

The World Trade Organization - The EU Mandate after Seattle
Tenth Report - HTML Version

Related debate in the House

Session 1998-99

Enlargment of the EU: Progress and Problems
Twenty-First Report - HTML Version

Related debate in the House

Taxes in the EU: Can Co-ordination and Competition Co-exist?
Fifteenth Report - HTML Version

Related debate in the House

Government Response - PDF format

Future Financing of the EU: Who Pays and How?
Sixth Report - HTML Version

Related debate in the House

Session 1997-98

The Reform of the Structural Funds and the Cohesion Fund
Thirtieth Report - HTML Version

Taxation and Competition Policy in the Single Market
Twenty-Eighth Report - HTML Version

The European Central Bank: Will it Work?
Twenty-Fourth Report - HTML Version

Related debate in the House

The Financial Consequences of Enlargement
Tenth Report - HTML Version

Related debate in the House

Session 1996-97

Reducing Disparities within the European Union: The Effectiveness of the Structural and Cohesion Funds
Eleventh Report - HTML Version

Related debate in the House

Preparations for EMU

Second Report: HL 18

Related debate in the House