Select Committee on European Union Fourteenth Report

Appendix 3 Call for evidence


  Sub-Committee F (Social Affairs, Education and Home Affairs) of the House of Lords Select Committee on the European Union is conducting a short inquiry into the social policy aspects of the Convention on the Future of Europe. Working Group XI of the Convention published its proposals at the end of January,[57] for consideration by the Convention in the preparation of draft Treaty articles.

The Working Group's main proposals are:

·  the inclusion in the Treaty of a number of additional social values and objectives

·  some extension of Community competences in the area of public health

·  specific Treaty provision for the "open method of co-ordination"

·  improved coherence between the economic and social processes

·  explicit recognition in the Treaty of the role of the social partners (and civil society).

The Working Group proposes little change in the matters to which Qualified Majority Voting (QMV) should apply.

·  The Sub-Committee would welcome evidence on these and other aspects of social policy relevant to amending the Treaties. It suggests that in submitting evidence witnesses should have in mind what it sees as the main questions underlying these issues:

·  where to strike the balance between Member State and Community competence in social policy

·  at what level social policy should be drawn up and implemented

·  what flexibility Member States should have to adapt a Community social policy to their particular circumstances.

In order that its report can contribute to public debate on proposals under consideration by the Convention, the Sub-Committee plans to complete it by the end of March. In view of this very tight timetable the Sub-Committee will be relying primarily on written submissions and holding very few oral evidence sessions. It regrets that it has had to set such a short deadline for the submission of evidence.

57   CONV 516/03, available on the Convention's web-site ( Back

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