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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.
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.
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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