COMMISSION'S WORK PROGRAMME FOR 2002
Commission Communication: Commission's work programme for 2002.
|Document originated:||5 December 2001
|Forwarded to the Council:
||7 December 2001|
|Deposited in Parliament:
||16 January 2002|
|Department:||Foreign and Commonwealth Office
|Basis of consideration:
||EM of 30 January 2002|
|Previous Committee Report:
|To be discussed in Council:
||No date set|
|Committee's assessment:||Politically important
19.1 The Commission's Work Programme for 2002 is a statement
of its policy priorities for the year. In its introduction, the
Commission recalls that it set out in its White Paper, Reforming
how it intended to change the way it set its political agenda,
so as to:
"re-centre on core activities and objectives, improve
delivery of policy priorities and further increase transparency
towards other European Union institutions, national parliaments
and European citizens".
19.2 In February 2001, the Commission adopted its first
Annual Policy Strategy,
in which it set out the main political priorities for 2002, defined
priority actions and allocated corresponding resources. The Commission
says that this paper:
"provides the framework for the preliminary draft
budget and operational programming by the Commission's services
in the form of annual management plans. These translate the Commission's
political steer into actions, objectives and expected results
at the level of internal programming by the services and contain
operational proposals for the Commission's Work Programme."
19.3 The Commission Work Programme used to be presented
at the start of the year in question and, according to the Commission,
was "accompanied by a long descriptive catalogue of legislative
and other policy actions, not always identified with political
priorities." We considered the one for 2001 on 25 April 2001.
It has now become a political instrument, integrated in a new
system of management in which it forms part of a complete cycle
from policy planning to execution. It therefore:
" assesses progress in the current year;
- identifies the political and economic context for the coming
- spells out the political priorities for the year to come on
the basis of the Annual Policy Strategy, but adapts these where
necessary to reflect major new developments;
- highlights the main political actions for 2002, in particular
those that translate the political priorities for that year. It
does not, however, attempt to provide a comprehensive picture
of Commission activity, much of which is ongoing work linked to
the Commission's Treaty obligations".
Description of the Work Programme for 2002 and the Government's
view of it
19.4 In his Explanatory Memorandum, the Minister for
Europe (Mr Peter Hain) comments that the Work Programme is binding
on the Commission, but not on the EU as a whole, nor on the European
Parliament or the Council. He then, helpfully, describes the document
and provides the Government's view of it at the same time. He
"The Communication assesses the Commission's progress
in the delivery of its strategic objectives in 2001 and re-confirms
the Commission's existing priorities for the year ahead. In addition
to the six priorities already identified in the Annual Policy
Strategy and adopted in February 2001, the Commission has added
a further priority in the wake of September 11. The revised priorities
- Introduction of the euro, further economic and financial integration
- Development co-operation.
"The structure of the Work Programme is somewhat changed
from previous years. The document focuses on the major political
actions through which the Commission intends to deliver those
priorities rather than setting out a definitive list of legislative
proposals, as in the annexes of the 2001 Programme. This change
represents a positive move by the Commission to adopt a more strategic
approach to determining its priorities, in line with, though not
constrained by, the Annual Policy Strategy of February 2001. In
place of the annual list of proposed legislation, the Commission
intends to publish quarterly legislative programmes, a positive
attempt to add greater flexibility to the process.
"The document begins with a broad positive assessment of
progress made during 2001, on the four priority areas defined
in the 2001 Programme.
- Promoting new forms of governance: progress in the
areas of governance and the Commission's programme of internal
- The new economic and social agenda: including a sustainable
development strategy, proposals on the Common Fisheries Policy
and the Community transport policy, cohesion policy, gender equality
and taxation policy;
- Stabilising our continent and boosting Europe's voice in
the world: progress on enlargement negotiations, the launch
of a new multilateral trade round, the 'Everything but Arms' initiative,
reform of the management of EU external assistance programmes,
reconstruction in the Western Balkans, and support to the Mediterranean;
- A better quality of life for all: rescuing the Kyoto
Protocol on climate change and proposals for the Sixth Environmental
Action Programme, proposals towards creating a European space
of freedom, security and justice and in the areas of consumer
protection, public health and food safety.
"The bulk of the document identifies the political and
economic context in the coming year, and spells out the political
priorities for the year to come on the basis of the Annual Policy
Strategy (APS) of February 2001, adapted where necessary to reflect
major new developments. This section includes Key action points
on which the Commission intends to concentrate.
(i) Safety and Security
"This section discusses the need to combat terrorism
and crime and promote the safety and security of European citizens
through action within the Union as well as at an international
"The Government welcomes the Commission's proposals to bring
forward a number of initiatives to fight terrorism and crime,
including the financing of terrorism and the fight against organised
crime. We are working closely with our EU partners to ensure that
there is an effective EU-level response to both terrorism and
organised crime. The special meeting of EU Justice and Home Affairs
Ministers and the special European Council on 20 and 21 September
last year agreed a plan of action to combat terrorism, which we
want to continue to turn into real action as quickly as possible.
We have already made good progress in agreeing a European Arrest
Warrant; a terrorism framework decision; and joint investigative
"We are very keen that the EU's external border controls
should be as effective as possible. We have led those pushing
for more action to deal with human trafficking and people smuggling,
including by setting up a successful EU team in the Balkans to
help local governments tackle the problem. In this light, we look
forward to the Commission's proposed initiative focusing on progressive
development of an integrated border management system for effective
external border controls. We hope it will propose more joint work
along the lines of the UK Balkans initiative, and more short-term
operations using intelligence to target border weak spots. We
are also willing to examine other proposals for improved co-operation.
Our decision on participation would of course take account of
the UK's special position on the maintenance of our own internal
"The Government welcomes the adoption of the Commission Communication
on Civil Protection and Bioterrorism in November 2001. The Communication
sets out the work already underway in the Commission on these
areas. It also signals its intention to nominate a Civil Protection
Coordinator responsible for coordinating work in this area and
for managing the Community Mechanism for Civil Protection (agreed
in September 2001). The work already in hand on civil protection
includes an action plan to deal with the consequences of nuclear,
biological and chemical attacks; a programme of actions on civil
protection, health and research; reinforcing capacity for epidemiological
surveillance and control of communicable diseases; developing
mechanisms for consultation in the event of a bio-terrorist attack;
a pharmaceutical taskforce to look at treatments, production capacity,
control and distribution of vaccines; a group of national experts
to coordinate on research activity; use of the Commission's Joint
Research Centre to launch two new studies on bioterrorism; security
of energy facilities and transport; a Commission assessment of
the vulnerability of nuclear facilities; and use of financing
for natural or technological disasters. No decision has yet been
taken on the nomination of a Civil Protection Coordinator. The
Government supports the useful summary of ongoing work in the
civil protection area in the Communication.
"An EU regulation on minimum standards of aviation security
across the EU was agreed by the Council of Ministers in December
last year. Once adopted by the European Parliament, the Commission
will chair a group of Member State representatives to agree 'accepted
methods of compliance' with the Regulation.
"The Commission will also come forward with proposals for
developing appropriate safety standards for road tunnels on the
Trans European Networks. The Government supports improved minimum
safety standards across the EU.
"And the Commission is expected to come forward with proposals
for revising legislation addressing passenger ship stability and
roll on/roll off ferries. At working level, Member States and
the Commission will consider how best to co-ordinate any work
in the International Maritime Organisation on maritime security.
"We welcome Commission work on energy supply security including
strengthening the EU: Russia energy dialogue and bilateral relations
with other key energy partners. It is important this is done on
the basis of a clear and transparent framework, discussed and
agreed by Member States.
"In December 2001 the Council agreed a Resolution on information
and network security. Measures to come forward in 2002 include
proposals on a cybersecurity task force, reinforcing the dialogue
with international organisations and partners and the promotion
of the common criteria approach to assessing the security functionality
of products and systems.
"The Government is committed to inserting a counter terrorism
clause in all new co-operation agreements with third countries.
We therefore welcome the Commission support in implementing the
agreements with third countries. In particular, we would welcome
the Commission offering technical assistance to third countries
to assist them to implement anti-terrorist, and anti-money laundering
"The Government is committed to offering Afghanistan strong,
sustained and substantial political and financial support, in
the light of the war against terror. We recognise that only through
pledges of significant, long-term international humanitarian and
development aid, can the political and social stability of the
people of Afghanistan be secured and the long-term objectives
of the anti-terror campaign be achieved.
"We welcome the Commission's proposal for a community contribution
of £1bn over 2002-6, (based on the latest IDA/ADB/UNDP needs
assessment conducted), as outlined at the Afghanistan Steering
Group meeting in Tokyo on 21 January. We will further support
this with a substantial UK donation of approximately £324m
for the same period.
"We value the commitment to the region the EU has shown,
in particular by co-chairing the Afghan Steering Group, as part
of the co-ordinated international effort to rebuild Afghanistan.
(ii) Introduction of the euro, further economic and financial
"This section discusses the need to ensure the successful
launch of the euro and to take the necessary accompanying structural
reform measures to consolidate economic and monetary union and
the single market
"The Government notes the focus on improving economic co-ordination
and promoting public debate on economic policy in the euro area.
We would also note that the ECOFIN Council is the only body empowered
by the Treaty to formulate and adopt the broad economic policy
guidelines which constitute the main instrument of economic co-ordination,
as agreed at the 1997 Luxembourg European Council.
"The Government supports the Commission's objective of developing
the single market in financial services and the requirement
for regular reporting to monitor and encourage progress. The Government
intends to scrutinise very carefully the individual legislative
proposals that make up the Action Plan and will continue to encourage
a focus on the plan's objectives as individual proposals progress.
At this point we are not aware that the Commission intends to
publish any specific further proposals on improving the legal
framework for e-commerce. However, the Government believes that
in the light of the conclusions of the Barcelona Summit on Economic
Reform in March, there may well be a role for the Commission to
undertake more intensive work on regulatory issues for e-commerce
generally, or in financial services in particular.
"A key element of the Financial Services Action Plan is to
achieve agreement on a takeovers directive to ensure clarity and
consistency in takeover law across the EU. The Government therefore
welcomes the publication of the High Level Group Report as an
important step in that process and urges the Commission to bring
forward early revised proposals for a directive.
"In 1998 the Commission issued a Green Paper on combating
counterfeiting and piracy in the single market. This was followed
in November 2000 by a Commission Communication setting out an
action plan of urgent and medium term measures. One of the urgent
actions is a proposed Directive to strengthen the means for enforcing
intellectual property rights, exchanging information and improving
"The UK Government is committed to fighting counterfeiting
and piracy, which damages business and consumer interests, and
generally welcomes the proposals in the action plan. Many of the
proposals are consistent with current Government initiatives in
"The Government's Explanatory Memoranda of 3 October 2000
explained that the purpose of Commission proposals in May 2000
was to simplify, clarify and update the EC procurement directives.
Since then a great deal has been achieved to improve the proposals.
A common approach has emerged on most issues and the Government
welcomed industry's support in securing a more flexible approach,
for example in relation to PFI and other PPP contracts. We now
seek a broader approach to electronic procurement systems and
better safeguards on a proposed exclusion of tenderers convicted
of serious offences. The Government will consider the need for
proposals to revise the directives on remedies when these are
"The UK welcomes Commission initiatives on taxation that
promote efficient tax systems, counter harmful tax practices,
increase transparency, and combat abuse and evasion. Fair tax
competition is crucial to deliver these goals and the UK supports
those Commission initiatives which advance this approach.
"We welcome the Commission's emphasis on improving the business
environment and on raising private investment in R&D. This
is a key part of the Lisbon economic and social reform agenda,
and we support efforts to encourage the sharing of Member State
best practice in stimulating private R&D. A suite of quantitative
indicators of progress may be appropriate in this context.
(iii) Sustainable Development
"This section discusses the need to implement the EU's
sustainable development strategy to aim for stable economic growth
and higher employment, coupled with social cohesion and environmental
protection within the Union and internationally
"Heads of Government agreed an EU strategy for sustainable
development (EU SDS) at the Gothenburg European Council in June
2001, and committed to review the strategy at their future Spring
meetings starting with Barcelona in March 2002.
"Under the SDS, the Commission undertook to develop a methodology
for sustainability impact assessment of all major proposals, covering
their potential economic, social and environmental effects. The
Commission noted in its Communication to the Laeken European Council
in December 2001 that it would establish such a methodology by
the end of 2002 and that it intended to produce a Communication
on the subject as soon as possible. The Government supports the
Commission's intention which should make a significant contribution
to improved policy coherence.
"The Commission also undertook to adopt a Communication on
the external dimension of the SDS. The Government supports the
development of these proposals which recognise the need for the
EU to give priority to improving coherence between its internal
and external policies with the aim of taking steps towards poverty
eradication and securing a better environment. A strong external
dimension to the SDS would also make the EU well placed to play
a leading role at the World Summit on Sustainable Development.
"The Prime Minister welcomed the launch of the Doha Development
Agenda as '¼a
huge success for the international community.' We fully support
the Commission's aim to push ahead with negotiations in 2002.
Developing countries stand to benefit most from the new Round
in relative terms, but it is also estimated that successful negotiations
could boost the average income of every household in Britain by
nearly £500 a year. Negotiations need to build momentum rapidly
if they are to be completed by the target date of 1 January 2005.
Capacity-building measures must go hand in hand with this process.
The UK already provides significant human and financial trade-related
technical assistance. We are keen to work with the Commission
to expand the global effort in this area and to ensure coherence
between the various governments and institutions providing such
"The Government is committed to continuing reform
of the CAP which gives a better deal to consumers, taxpayers,
and pays due regard to the needs of the environment, public health
and rural development. We therefore look forward to the mid-term
reviews of the CAP planned for mid-2002 and welcome the intention
to further integrate food safety and sustainable development policies.
The establishment of the European Food Safety Authority in January
2002 was an important step forward in this respect. The government
also welcomes the attention to the need to prepare for enlargement,
and consider it essential to pursue CAP reform and enlargement
in parallel. For enlargement to be successful in the long term,
further reforms will be necessary. We also support the ongoing
negotiations on Agriculture as part of the WTO discussions. The
Government also supports the planned comprehensive review of the
Common Fisheries Policy, and urges that it take account of environmental
and sustainability considerations, including in respect of third
country fishing agreements.
"The Government supports the Commission's intention
to launch the Sixth Framework Programme for Research and Technological
Development (2002-2006), which will identify a limited number
of key priorities for Community research and development. The
Programme signals a shift towards promoting greater mobility,
networking and knowledge transfer, which is welcome and in line
with UK priorities.
"The Government looks forward to seeing the
European Commission's Communication for a Community Strategy on
health and safety at work. The UK has been working closely with
the Commission in a variety of ways that link closely to the UK's
own domestic strategy, 'Revitalising Health and Safety'. The Government
will continue to press forward with an outcomes based approach
aimed at securing major improvements in the national health and
"The debate over the future of EU Cohesion Policy
began last year with the publication of the 2nd Report on Economic
and Social Cohesion. On 30 January 2002, the Commission will publish
an update on the Report and intends to follow this up with a series
of workshops later this year to stimulate discussion about the
interim report. The Government has called for a fundamental review
of what the Funds are seeking to achieve, how effective they have
been and what sort of arrangements would best serve an enlarged
EU, respecting the principle of subsidiarity. Formal Commission
proposals for the future of the Funds are expected in 2004 and
the UK and other Member States will be contributing to the development
of these proposals in the intervening period.
"The Government welcomes the use of the open
method of co-ordination as an alternative to legislation that
promotes the exchange of information and best practice, benchmarking
and peer review. The open method approach has been adopted in
both the pensions and social inclusion areas but is longest established
in the employment field. The Government supports the expansion
of the open method of co-ordination into other areas, such as
education, in a way that is consistent with the principles of
"The Government welcomes the more strategic
approach of the sixth Environment Action Programme (6EAP) which
sets out the framework for Community environment policy over the
next ten years. We support the identification of four priority
areas and have successfully argued for an emphasis on climate
change as an outstanding challenge of the next ten years and beyond.
The Government strongly supports commitments within the 6EAP to
improved implementation and to a policy-making process based on
stakeholder dialogue, sound science and cost effectiveness. The
programme will have legal status but will not have direct regulatory
effect and will not require transposition into UK law. Once adopted
under the co-decision procedure, it will fall to the Commission
to bring forward proposals to implement the objectives set out
in the programme. We support the Commission's proposals for developing
a regulatory system for registration, evaluation and authorisation
of chemicals (REACH) to apply to all chemicals produced in or
imported into the EU in quantities exceeding one tonne.
"The European Commission published its White
Paper 'European Transport Policy for 2010:time to decide' on 12
It set out a comprehensive strategy involving some 60 measures
aimed primarily at shifting the balance of transport in Europe
from road and aviation towards rail, shipping and intermodal operations
by 2010. The Commission is expected to come forward with a number
of the legislative proposals during 2002.
(iv) New European Governance
"This section discusses the Commission's
White Paper on Governance, administrative reform, and the promotion
of the debate on the Future of Europe.
"The Commission's White Paper on Governance
represents an important initiative, attempting to make the EU
and its institutions more transparent, accountable and effective.
The Government supports the Commission proposal to present a detailed
Action Plan on better regulation and regulatory simplification
before June 2002.
The use of framework directives and co-regulatory mechanisms will
provide an opportunity to improve the way the EC regulates. The
Government intends to submit a formal response to the Commission
before the end of the consultation period in March 2002, and to
continue to pursue this important agenda following this period.
"The Commission will have two seats on the Convention
on the Future of Europe as well as a seat on the smaller Bureau
which will oversee the work of the Convention. The Commission
is a vital part of the EU architecture and will have valuable
insights into how the delivery of the EU's goals and strategic
aims can better be delivered. The Government welcomes the Commission
taking an active part in the Convention, but recalls that it will
be for member states in an Intergovernmental Conference to take
final decisions on possible changes to the Treaties.
"The Government has set as one of its own priorities
for the Convention developing the role of national parliaments
in the EU. As a symbol of democracy and legitimacy, national parliaments
have a potentially important role in contributing to the legitimacy
of the EU. The Government is also committed to strengthening the
scrutiny of EU legislation by national parliaments. That is why
it extended the UK's own scrutiny arrangements to Second and Third
Pillar activities in 1997
and why it supported the Amsterdam Protocol on scrutiny by national
parliaments setting out a minimum period for scrutiny amongst
other measures. The Government would be keen to examine any further
proposals which enhance the scrutiny process or contribute to
greater consultation with national parliaments by the Commission
in the formulation of legislative proposals.
"The Government supports the intention of the
Commission to continue to pursue its own policy of internal reforms,
with a review of overall progress at the end of the year. The
Government welcomes, in particular, the adoption on 20 December
2001 of a wide ranging human resource package with key personnel
policy proposals including introduction of a new career structure
and a reformed appraisal system and promotion based on merit rather
"The European Commission has brought forward
proposals to modernise its regime to combat cartels and other
anti-competitive practices in the Internal Market. The proposals
seek to shift resources in Commission from policing largely benign
agreements between companies to the investigation of hard-core
cartel activity. Enforcement of much European competition law
will be decentralised to national competition authorities, such
as the OFT.
The UK supports the Commission's modernisation proposals, subject
to concerns on the interaction of Community law with our national
competition regime (for example in the area of utility regulation).
Under the new regime, the Commission should also continue offering
sufficient guidance to companies to grant them the legal certainty
to enter into pro-competitive cross-border agreements.
"This proposal is to consolidate and simplify
a series of European directives on mutual recognition of professional
education and training. It aims to bring the different provisions
into one single text while creating a framework for more automatic
recognition and more flexible provisions for cross-border service
providers. It has been recognised that mutual recognition is not
working as well as it should in practice and the UK welcomes the
attention the Commission intends to pay to this.
"The eEurope Action Plan a strategy
for connecting all citizens, businesses, schools and public administrations
to the Internet by the end of 2000, and for accelerating e-commerce,
raising IT skills, and encouraging faster and cheaper communications
through greater competition in networks and services was
called for by the Lisbon Summit. The first full benchmarking of
indicators of progress will be presented in a report from the
Commission in February 2002, and the Barcelona European Council
in March can be expected to call for a new Action Plan for the
period after 2002.
"We expect that future strategy will be geared
to the more intensive exploitation of electronic networks, facilitated
by the widespread adoption of broadband communications. A Commission
Communication on e-Inclusion was issued in 2001, and will lead
to activities over a wide range of social policies to encourage
increased participation in the information society by disabled
people and others.
"This section discusses the need to deliver
concrete results on the EU's enlargement negotiations by the end
"The Government is committed to a successful
enlargement of the EU in 2004. We therefore welcome that the EU
was able to keep to the Nice "roadmap" (timetable) for
negotiations in 2001, and is on target to complete negotiations
with up to 10 candidate countries by the end of 2002. This is
in line with the Prime Minister's objective that the first candidates
join the EU in time to participate in the European Parliament
election in 2004. The Government agrees with the Commission that
2002 will be critical for enlargement and supports the Commission's
aim to increase the pace of its work in this area.
"We therefore welcome the Commission's goal
to finalise Draft Common Positions on all negotiating chapters
by mid 2002, and look forward shortly to receiving its proposals
on the chapters covering Agriculture, Regional Policy and Financial
and Budgetary Provisions. The Government notes that the Commission's
2002 enlargement strategy paper and annual reports for 2002 should
include recommendations on which candidates will be ready for
accession in 2004. We urge the Commission to present these documents
in time for a decision on the first wave of enlargement at the
Brussels European Council in October 2002.
"The Government agrees that effective implementation
of the acquis will be important in the remainder of the accession
process. We therefore welcome the Commission's focus on monitoring
candidates' capacity to assume the responsibilities of EU membership
and its proposed action plan to support institution building in
the candidate countries. We support the Commission's intention
to provide an updated roadmap for [those] candidates that will
not be ready to complete their negotiations by the end of this
"This section stresses the need to re-inforce
Europe's relationship with its close neighbours in the Mediterranean
"The Government welcomes the Commission's proposals
under the Barcelona (or EuroMed) Process. We await with interest
its proposals to make the EuroMed Partnership more operational.
However, it is unfortunately likely that the political aspects
of the Barcelona Process will continue to be stalled by the situation
in the Middle East Peace Process (MEPP).
"The Commission proposes to conclude the negotiation
of Association Agreements with Algeria, Lebanon and Syria. The
Government welcomes the recent initialling of Agreements with
Algeria and Lebanon and hopes that signature can take place soon,
and preferably, as the Presidency hopes, by the Barcelona V Ministerial
at Valencia in April. The Government supports the continued negotiations
with Syria but is aware that they are at an early stage.
"The Spanish Presidency has suggested a study
as to whether an investment facility or further joint development
projects would stimulate investment in the region. The government
looks forward with interest to the outcome of this study. We believe
there is potential for improvement of the effectiveness of EU
assistance to the region.
"Over the last year the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership
has discussed the proposal for a regional programme on what would
be classed in the EU as Justice and Home Affairs. In this context
the Government particularly welcomes the study of statistical
information as part of the ongoing co-operation on legal migration.
This programme has been delayed due the need to ensure that the
document is an agreed document, reflecting the needs of all members
of the Partnership. The Government welcomes the commitment to
such a programme and hopes that the programme can be agreed at
the Valencia meeting. The Commission has also suggested further
work on youth, transport and energy and environmental integration.
"The UK continues to argue for more efficiency
and effectiveness of Community development programmes and therefore
welcomes the Commission's commitment to streamline management
of the MEDA programme.
"The Government supports the Commission and
Member States in the region in their efforts to improve fisheries
management in the context of the reform of the CFP.
"The Government welcomes the Commission proposal
to re-inforce the EU's role in the MEPP, in close co-operation
with the Council. The MEPP is in crisis and the international
community must do all it can to help the parties end the violence
and resume dialogue aimed at achieving a just, lasting and comprehensive
peace. The EU, including the Commission has an important role
to play in this international effort.
(vii) Development Co-operation
"This section stresses the health and education
focus of the EU's development co-operation policies, as part of
the over-arching objective of combating poverty.
"The Government welcomes the Commission's commitment
to the six priority areas defined in the EU's development policy
statement of November 2000. The UK will call for an Annual Report
in October 2002 which clearly analyses how this policy is being
put into effect in all developing countries.
"The Government awaits with interest the Commission's
proposed sectoral frameworks in relation to poverty, including
the frameworks for health and education. Given the Commission's
limited expertise/capacity in some key sectors, the Government
will be looking for frameworks which envisage considerable joint-working
with other donors.
"The UK fully supports the Commission's aim
to implement a programme of action aimed at decreasing the spread
of communicable diseases. The UK believes greater international
efforts are required both to prevent the spread of communicable
diseases and to improve care and support for those who are affected
by it. The UK is working hard with national governments, international
partners and other donors to help support nationally led, broad-based
intersectoral responses to tackle these diseases. HMG welcomes
the proposal for the Commission to contribute to the Global Fund
for HIV/AIDS, TB and malaria. The UK itself is contributing $200
million to the Fund over 5 years and total pledges to date amount
to $1.8 billion. Good progress has been made on establishing the
Fund. The UK is committed to keep up this momentum.
"The Government believes the EU has an important
role to play in the Financing for Development Conference. Koos
Richelle, the Director General for Development in the Commission
was invited by the Development Council to travel around European
capitals to identify possible initiatives on aid volume, aid untying,
innovative sources of finance and global public goods for financing
for Development. The Government awaits his report with interest,
which may well form the basis for any EU initiatives that could
be launched at the Conference.
"The Government is committed to promoting prosperity,
security and stability in Asia and Latin America and will seek
to drive forward poverty reduction in these regions as a development
objective for the EU during 2002. The Government welcomes the
Commission's proposal to revise the Asia Latin America (ALA) regulation.
"We support the Commission's identification
of six key focal points for ALA: trade and development; regional
integration and co-operation; macroeconomic support; food security
and sustainable rural development; institutional reconstruction
and good governance and the rule of law. However, we recognise
that Asia and Latin America would benefit substantially from a
more co-ordinated international effort. We therefore urge the
Commission to streamline EC programme management in line with
other international donors.
"The Government welcomes the Commission's continued
commitment to encourage ratification of the Cotonou Agreement,
which the UK ratified in 2001. The Commission's proposals for
an action plan to develop private sector initiatives that fight
poverty are welcome. The Government believes that the encouragement
of private sector initiatives in the Africa, Caribbean and Pacific
countries is an important aspect of reducing poverty, it therefore
awaits the Commission's action plan with interest. The Government
hopes the Commission will provide a draft mandate on Economic
Partnership Agreements in good time for substantial debate within
the EU before the mandate is put to the ACP countries. The Government
hopes that the draft mandate will be sufficiently flexible to
enable the various configurations of negotiations and groupings
to be acceptable according to the ACP group's wishes and will
be in accordance with development objectives.
"The Government strongly welcomes the Commission's
reform of external assistance to make the Community's assistance,
more efficient and effective. In this respect it welcomes the
reforms impacting on the external service. Government looks forward
to increased numbers of 'deconcentrated' EC delegations in country.
"The Government believes that direct financial
assistance to third countries is an important instrument, but
not the only one. The EU should apply a range of tools, including
trade policy and technical assistance instruments. Given scarce
resources, it is important to concentrate spending where it is
most needed and to give priority to other types of assistance
where they are more relevant."
19.5 Finally, the Minister notes that the
Council will continue to decide on individual measures as and
when the Commission brings proposals forward.
19.6 We welcome the Commission's new
approach to the Work Programme and its timeliness. We note the
comments made on it in the report on The EU's legislative and
work programme presented to the European Parliament on 21
February 2002 by the Rapporteur for the Constitutional Affairs
Committee, Cecilia Malmström MEP.
The suggestion is made in the report that the involvement of national
parliaments at an early stage in the proposed annual legislative
programme would allow national sensitivities to be taken into
New European Governance
19.7 We also welcome the undertaking
which the Commission gives under this heading to make proposals
in the Convention on the Future of Europe "to inform national
parliaments better about Community legislative proposals, so that
they can perform their function of political guidance and control
at the national level".
19.8 The Minister refers to the symbolic
status of national parliaments and their "potentially"
important role in contributing to the legitimacy of the EU. We
welcome the commitment which he then gives to strengthening the
scrutiny of EU legislation by national parliaments. We note that
he says that the Government would be keen to examine any further
proposals which enhance the scrutiny process or contribute to
greater consultation with national parliaments by the Commission
in the formulation of legislative proposals.
19.9 We shall be putting forward proposals
in our report on Democracy and accountability in the EU and
the role of national parliaments and meanwhile shall maintain
our dialogue with the Government on improving the process on a
day-to-day basis. We note the timetable for preparing the Commission's
legislative and work programme annexed to the European Parliament
report mentioned above and shall consider how we might best become
involved, and at what point in this process.
Safety and Security
19.10 Under this heading, the Minister
comments "We have already made good progress in agreeing
a European Arrest Warrant; a terrorism framework decision; and
joint investigative teams." We believe better progress could
have been made if it had not been hindered by over-hasty drafting.
We urge the Government to remember that careful framing and full
discussion of draft legislation on sensitive issues is essential,
especially in relation to the protection of individual liberties.
19.11 We now clear this document from
43 (21070) 6302/00 and (21071) 6302/00 ADD1; see HC
23-xiv (1999-2000), paragraph 8 (12 April 2000). Back
5876/01; see HC 28-xii (2000-01), paragraph 6 (25 April 2001). Back
11932/01; see HC 152-xv (2001-2002), paragraph 2 (30 January 2002). Back
15096/01; not yet reported. Back
14654/01; not yet reported. Back
extension took place in 1998 rather than 1997. Back
of Fair Trading. Back