Select Committee on European Scrutiny Eleventh Report


COM(00) 248

(i) Draft Council Decision establishing a training, exchange and assistance
programme for the protection of the euro against counterfeiting ("Pericles"
programme); and

(ii) Draft Council Decision extending the effects of the Decision establishing a
training, exchange and assistance programme for the protection of the euro
against counterfeiting ("Pericles" programme) to the Member States which
have not adopted the euro as the single currency.

Legal base:(i) Article 123(4) EC; unanimity of Member States that have adopted the euro
(ii) Article 308 EC; consultation; unanimity
Document originated:22 May 2001
Forwarded to the Council: 22 May 2001
Deposited in Parliament: 20 June 2001
Department:HM Treasury and Home Office
Basis of consideration: Ministers' letter dated 28 November, sent 5 December and received 13 December 2001
Previous Committee Report: HC 152-vi (2001-02), paragraph 7 (14 November 2001)
To be discussed in Council: No date known
Committee's assessment:Politically important
Committee's decision:Cleared (decision reported on 14 November 2001)


  8.1  This document is concerned with the establishment of a Community action programme of training and associated activities to help protect the euro from counterfeiting. When we considered it in November, we cleared the document, recognising its uncontroversial nature. However, we asked the two Ministers concerned why it had taken them over four months to produce a joint Explanatory Memorandum. We also asked for more information about the timetable for the proposal.

The Ministers' letter

  8.2  The Economic Secretary to the Treasury (Ruth Kelly) and the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Home Office (Mr Bob Ainsworth) have now provided an explanation for the delay. They say:

    "The delay in producing a Memorandum was regrettable, but necessary to determine where the main policy interests lie and, subsequently, to identify suitably qualified and experienced officials to deal with the Pericles programme. As you know, both the Treasury and Home Office have some responsibilities in this area, while the actual implementation of Pericles in the UK will fall mainly to the National Criminal Intelligence Service and the Bank of England. We have been anxious to ensure that issues covered by Pericles do not fall between organisations, but are properly addressed by the best-placed individuals, while avoiding duplication of effort. The timing of the summer recess did not help achieve a speedy outcome, but we believe we now have a satisfactory division of responsibilities in place."

  8.3  In relation to the timetable for the measure, the Ministers tell us that they were expecting the proposal to go to the ECOFIN Council as an "A" point on 4 December.


  8.4  While we are pleased to learn that the Ministers consider that they now have a satisfactory division of responsibilities in place, we remain concerned that it took so long to work one out, and, indeed so long to arrange for their joint letter (dated 28 November) to be sent (the cover letter is dated 5 December, the day after the ECOFIN Council to which they refer). We look forward to prompter responses in the future.

  8.5  We have already cleared the document.

previous page contents next page

House of Commons home page Parliament home page House of Lords home page search page enquiries index

© Parliamentary copyright 2002
Prepared 17 January 2002