AGREEMENT BETWEEN EUROPOL AND THE RUSSIAN
Letter from the Chairman to Bob Ainsworth
Sub-Committee F (Social Affairs, Education and
Home Affairs) considered this draft agreement at its meeting on
The Committee noted that this was another example
of the Home Office depositing a document for scrutiny only a week
before it was due for discussion, and presumably adoption at the
JHA Council. The Committee cannot understand why an earlier draft
was not deposited, and I would be grateful for an explanation
for the late submission.
Because of the urgency the Committee arranged
to consider the draft at very short notice and decided to clear
it from scrutiny, but we will be reluctant to clear documents
at such short notice again where the normal scrutiny rules have
been breached for what appears to be no good reason.
2 December 2002
Letter from Bob Ainsworth to the Chairman
Thank you for your letter of 2 December. I would
like to thank Sub-Committee F for considering and clearing this
proposal so quickly although the proposal was taken off the agenda
for the Justice and Home Affairs Council on 28-29 November.
In your letter you asked for an explanation
why an earlier draft was not submitted to the Committee. The document
was first produced as a room document at the Europol Management
Board on 29-30 October. Officials received this unofficial text
on the 5 November and began work on an unnumbered Explanatory
Memorandum immediately. The document was deposited with the Explanatory
Memorandum on 20 November. An official Council text was only received
yesterday and there has been no changes from the unofficial text.
Both I and my officials are committed to the
principles of parliamentary scrutiny, and are aware of the importance
of getting documents submitted to the scrutiny Committees as soon
as possible. I can assure you that we make every effort to meet
the deadlines set. However, in this case we could not supply you
with a text earlier as we did not have an earlier version, and
therefore did not breach the normal scrutiny rules.
Work on the Europol Convention is a particularly
fast moving area and as a result we do often receive documents
only shortly before they appear on Council agendas. Unfortunately,
we do not have any control over the items that the Presidency
decides to put on the Council agendas.
8 January 2003