Select Committee on European Scrutiny Thirty-Third Report


CFSPCommon Foreign and Security Policy, one of the EU's two inter-governmental 'pillars' (see below for 'pillars').
Co-decisionA procedure (under Article 251 of the EC Treaty) by which EC draft legislation passes through the Council of Ministers and the EP at the same time, placing them on an equal footing. See paragraphs 88-91.
ConventionThe Convention on the Future of Europe, consisting of representatives of Member State governments, national parliaments, the EP and the European Commission, together with government and parliamentary representatives from candidate countries for EU membership. Its purpose is to propose reforms of the EU for consideration by the next IGC. See paragraphs 9 and 129-30.
COREPERThe Committee of Permanent Representatives, in which diplomats from the Member States negotiate on draft legislation, much of which is then agreed by the Council of Ministers without debate. See paragraphs 28-9.
COSACThe Conference of Community and European Affairs Committees (known by the French acronym for the Conférence des Organes Spécialisés dans les Affaires Communautaires), containing representatives from national parliaments and the EP. It meets twice a year in the countries which hold the EU Presidency. It is recognised by the Treaties but has virtually no formal role in the EU. See paragraphs 149-54.
CouncilThe Council of Ministers, consisting of Ministers from the Member States — the EU's most important legislative and decision-making body. Not to be confused with the European Council. See paragraphs 18-27 and 66-7.
Court of AuditorsThe EU institution which examines the European Communities' accounts and reports on them.
ECThe European Communities or European Community, the EU's first pillar (see below for 'pillars').
ECJEuropean Court of Justice.
EnlargementUp to ten 'candidate countries' are expected to join the EU in 2004. Apart from Cyprus and Malta they are in central and eastern Europe. Romania and Bulgaria are expected to join later (perhaps in 2007), and Turkey's candidature has also been recognised.
EPEuropean Parliament. See paragraphs 85-93.
ESDPThe European Security and Defence Policy, part of the inter-governmental second 'pillar'. See paragraphs 145-7.
EUThe European Union.
European CouncilThe European Council, consisting of the EU's heads of state or government and the Commission President, and meeting at least twice a year. It is intended to have a strategic role in the EU (under Article 4 of the EU Treaty). See paragraphs 62-5.
IGCInter-Governmental Conference. The last was at Nice in December 2000; the next will be in 2004.
Laeken DeclarationDeclaration made by the European Council in December 2001, setting up the Convention on the Future of Europe and putting forward questions for it to answer.
MEPMember of the European Parliament.
PillarsThe EU consists of three pillars. Most EU activity falls within the first pillar, the European Communities, in which the Commission and the European Parliament play the fullest part. The other two pillars (which derive from the Maastricht Treaty of 1992) are inter-governmental: the second pillar is the Common Foreign and Security Policy under Title V of the EU Treaty; the third is police and judicial co-operation in criminal matters under Title VI of the EU Treaty.
PresidencyEU Member States take turns to hold the EU's Presidency for six months. The Presidency State chairs the European Council and the Council of Ministers. See paragraphs 58-61.
ProtocolThe Protocol on the Role of National Parliaments is part of the Treaty of Amsterdam of 1997. Among other provisions, it was intended to ensure that national parliaments had time to consider draft EU legislation before decisions were made. See paragraphs 36-8.
SubsidiarityThe principle (incorporated in the EC Treaty) that the EC should take action only in so far as objectives cannot be sufficiently achieved by Member States and can be better achieved by the EC. See paragraphs 103-15 and 131-5.
TreatiesThese consist of the Treaty on European Union (EU) and the Treaty establishing the European Community (EC). (A specific Treaty relates to nuclear matters — the Treaty establishing the European Atomic Energy Community. The Treaty establishing the European Coal and Steel Community expires this year.)
UKREPThe Permanent Representation of the UK to the European Union, with the task of representing the UK in day-to-day negotiations. It is headed by the UK's Permanent Representative to the EU.

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Prepared 21 June 2002