THE COMMITTEE'S STANDING ORDER AND MEMBERSHIP AND THE
SCRUTINY RESERVE RESOLUTION
The European Scrutiny Committee is appointed under Standing Order No.143 to examine European Union documents and
(a) to report its opinion on the legal and political importance of each such document and, where it considers appropriate, to report also on the reasons for its opinion and on any matters of principle, policy or law which may be affected;
(b) to make recommendations for the further consideration of any such document pursuant to Standing Order No. 119 (European Standing Committees); and
(c) to consider any issue arising upon any such document or group of documents, or related matters.
The expression 'European Union document' covers
(i) any proposal under the Community Treaties for legislation by the Council or the Council acting jointly with the European Parliament;
(ii) any document which is published for submission to the European Council, the Council or the European Central Bank;
(iii) any proposal for a common strategy, a joint action or a common position under Title V of the Treaty on European Union which is prepared for submission to the Council or to the European Council;
(iv) any proposal for a common position, framework decision, decision or a convention under Title VI of the Treaty on European Union which is prepared for submission to the Council;
(v) any document (not falling within (ii), (iii) or (iv) above) which is published by one Union institution for or with a view to submission to another Union institution and which does not relate exclusively to consideration of any proposal for legislation;
(vi) any other document relating to European Union matters deposited in the House by a Minister of the Crown.
The committee consists of sixteen Members, appointed for the duration of a Parliament. Its quorum is five. It has power to send for persons, papers and records, to sit notwithstanding any adjournment of the House, to adjourn from place to place, to report from time to time, and to appoint sub-committees. It also has power to seek from any Committee appointed under Standing Order No. 152 (Select committees related to government departments), the Select Committee on Public Administration, the Committee of Public Accounts, and the Environmental Audit Committee, that Committee's opinion on any European Union document, and to require a reply to such a request within such time as it may specify.
The present membership of the Committee is as follows:1
Colin Breed MP (Liberal Democrat, Cornwall South East)
Roger Casale MP (Labour, Wimbledon)
William Cash MP (Conservative, Stone)
Michael Connarty MP (Labour, Falkirk East)
Tony Cunningham MP (Labour, Workington)
Wayne David MP (Labour, Caerphilly)
Terry Davis MP (Labour, Birmingham Hodge Hill)
Jim Dobbin MP (Labour, Heywood and Middleton)
Mark Hendrick MP (Labour, Preston)
Jimmy Hood MP (Labour, Clydesdale)
Anne McIntosh MP (Conservative, Vale of York)
Jim Marshall MP (Labour, Leicester South)
Angus Robertson MP (SNP, Moray)2
Anthony Steen MP (Conservative, Totnes)
Bill Tynan MP (Labour, Hamilton South)
Angela Watkinson MP (Conservative, Upminster)3
On 18 July 2001, the Committee elected Mr Jimmy Hood as its Chairman.
1 Appointed on 16 July 2001.
2 Appointed on 12 November 2001.
3 Appointed on 23 May 2002.
Resolution of the House of 17 November 19984
(1) No Minister of the Crown should give agreement in the Council or in the European Council to any proposal for European Community legislation or for a common strategy, joint action or common position under Title V or a common position, framework decision, decision or convention under Title VI of the Treaty on European Union
(a) which is still subject to scrutiny (that is, on which the European Scrutiny Committee has not completed its scrutiny) or
(b) which is awaiting consideration by the House (that is, which has been recommended by the European Scrutiny Committee for consideration pursuant to Standing Order No. 119 (European Standing Committees) but in respect of which the House has not come to a Resolution).
(2) In this Resolution, any reference to agreement to a proposal includes
(a) agreement to a programme, plan or recommendation for European Community legislation;
(b) political agreement;
(c) in the case of a proposal on which the Council acts in accordance with the procedure referred to in Article 251 of the Treaty of Rome (co-decision), agreement to a common position, to an act in the form of a common position incorporating amendments proposed by the European Parliament, and to a joint text; and
(d) in the case of a proposal on which the Council acts in accordance with the procedure referred to in Article 252 of the Treaty of Rome (co-operation), agreement to a common position.
(3) The Minister concerned may, however, give agreement
(a) to a proposal which is still subject to scrutiny if he considers that it is confidential, routine or trivial or is substantially the same as a proposal on which scrutiny has been completed;
(b) to a proposal which is awaiting consideration by the House if the European Scrutiny Committee has indicated that agreement need not be withheld pending consideration.
(4) The Minister concerned may also give agreement to a proposal which is still subject to scrutiny or awaiting consideration by the House if he decides that for special reasons agreement should be given; but he should explain his reasons
(a) in every such case, to the European Scrutiny Committee at the first opportunity after reaching his decision; and
(b) in the case of a proposal awaiting consideration by the House, to the House at the first opportunity after giving agreement.
(5) In relation to any proposal which requires adoption by unanimity, abstention shall, for the purposes of paragraph (4), be treated as giving agreement.
4Votes and Proceedings, 17 November 1998, p 1250.