"PERICLES" PROGRAMME FOR THE
PROTECTION OF THE EURO AGAINST COUNTERFEITING
(i) Draft Council Decision establishing a training, exchange and assistance
programme for the protection of the euro against counterfeiting ("Pericles"
(ii) Draft Council Decision extending the effects of the Decision establishing a
training, exchange and assistance programme for the protection of the euro
against counterfeiting ("Pericles" programme) to the Member States which
have not adopted the euro as the single currency.
|Legal base:||(i) Article 123(4) EC; unanimity of Member States that have adopted the euro|
(ii) Article 308 EC; consultation; unanimity
|Document originated:||22 May 2001
|Forwarded to the Council:
||22 May 2001|
|Deposited in Parliament:
||20 June 2001|
|Department:||HM Treasury and Home Office
|Basis of consideration:
||Ministers' letter dated 28 November, sent 5 December and received 13 December 2001
|Previous Committee Report:
||HC 152-vi (2001-02), paragraph 7 (14 November 2001)
|To be discussed in Council:
||No date known|
|Committee's assessment:||Politically important
|Committee's decision:||Cleared (decision reported on 14 November 2001)
8.1 This document is concerned with the establishment
of a Community action programme of training and associated activities
to help protect the euro from counterfeiting. When we considered
it in November, we cleared the document, recognising its uncontroversial
nature. However, we asked the two Ministers concerned why it had
taken them over four months to produce a joint Explanatory Memorandum.
We also asked for more information about the timetable for the
The Ministers' letter
8.2 The Economic Secretary to the Treasury (Ruth Kelly)
and the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Home Office
(Mr Bob Ainsworth) have now provided an explanation for the delay.
"The delay in producing a Memorandum was regrettable,
but necessary to determine where the main policy interests lie
and, subsequently, to identify suitably qualified and experienced
officials to deal with the Pericles programme. As you know, both
the Treasury and Home Office have some responsibilities in this
area, while the actual implementation of Pericles in the UK will
fall mainly to the National Criminal Intelligence Service and
the Bank of England. We have been anxious to ensure that issues
covered by Pericles do not fall between organisations, but are
properly addressed by the best-placed individuals, while avoiding
duplication of effort. The timing of the summer recess did not
help achieve a speedy outcome, but we believe we now have a satisfactory
division of responsibilities in place."
8.3 In relation to the timetable for the measure, the
Ministers tell us that they were expecting the proposal to go
to the ECOFIN Council as an "A" point on 4 December.
8.4 While we are pleased to learn that the Ministers
consider that they now have a satisfactory division of responsibilities
in place, we remain concerned that it took so long to work one
out, and, indeed so long to arrange for their joint letter (dated
28 November) to be sent (the cover letter is dated 5 December,
the day after the ECOFIN Council to which they refer). We look
forward to prompter responses in the future.
8.5 We have already cleared the document.