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19 May 1995 : Column WA45

Written Answers

Friday, 19th May 1995.

Fraud Against EC Budget

Lord Hooson asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether the European Parliament has made use of its powers under Article 138c of the Maastricht Treaty to set up a temporary committee of inquiry into alleged contraventions of maladministration in the implementation of Community law; and, if so, whether it has been used successfully in the fight against fraud.

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Chalker of Wallasey): The European Parliament has so far made no use of its powers under Article 138c of the Maastricht Treaty. The European Parliament is considering a proposal from the British MEP for Wight and Hampshire South (Mr. Roy Perry) to set up a temporary committee of inquiry to examine cases of fraud against the Community budget.

European Union and Human Rights

Lord Finsberg asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they will make it their policy to support the inclusion in any treaty arising from the 1996 European

19 May 1995 : Column WA46

    Inter-Governmental Conference of a specific recognition of the role of the Council of Europe in the field of human rights.

Baroness Chalker of Wallasey: Article F of the Maastricht Treaty already contains a reference to the need for the European Union to respect fundamental rights, as guaranteed by the Council of Europe Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms. In addition, Article 230 of the Treaty of Rome enables the Community to establish appropriate forms of co-operation with the Council of Europe. We see no need for a further reference to the Council of Europe in the Community treaties, but will consider carefully any proposals which are made.

European Union: National Parliaments

Lord Finsberg asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What consideration they have given to the proposal that the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe might be developed as a second chamber of the European Parliament.

Baroness Chalker of Wallasey: As part of our preparation for the 1996 Inter-Governmental Conference, we are examining a wide range of ideas on enhancing the role of national parliaments in the European Union.



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