European Scrutiny Committee

No. 6
(Session 2002-03)


On Wednesday 5 February 2003 at 9.40 am, the European Scrutiny Committee will be taking oral evidence from Mr Elliot Morley, MP, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.   The evidence will be in Committee Room 15.

The evidence will cover the decisions reached by the Fisheries Council on 16-20 December, including those on the reform of the Common Fisheries Policy and on the Total Allowable Catches (TACs) for 2003.

For further information telephone 020 7219 3307/3292.

3 February 2003

Notes for Editors

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 Scrutiny Reserve Resolution, passed by the House, is crucial to the Committee's work.  Under that Resolution Ministers are constrained from agreeing to EU legislative or other proposals until parliamentary scrutiny is completed.  There are certain circumstances in which agreement is nevertheless permitted, but in such cases the European Scrutiny Committee or the House must be informed as soon as possible.

The previous Community legislation governing the CFP ran until the end of last year, and the Commission therefore produced in the early summer a Communication on the reforms to apply as from 1 January 2003.  Following a recommendation by the Committee, these were debated on the Floor of the House on 21 November 2002.   An integral part of the CFP is the annual setting of TACs and quotas for the following calendar year, though, on this occasion, the Commission's proposals for 2003 did not become available until just before the Council meeting in December at which they were agreed.  They were subsequently considered by the Committee on 15 January, and debated on the Floor of the House the following day.

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
Roger Casale MP - Labour - Wimbledon
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
Anthony Steen MP - Conservative - Totnes
Bill Tynan MP - Labour - Hamilton South

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