Select Committee on European Scrutiny Thirty-Seventh Report

63 Statistics



COM(06) 66

Draft Regulation concerning structural business statistics

Legal baseArticle 285(1) EC; co-decision; QMV
DepartmentOffice for National Statistics
Basis of considerationMinister's letter of 19 April 2006
Previous Committee ReportHC 34-xxiii (2005-06), para 11 (29 March 2006) and HC 34-xxviii (2005-06), para 8 (10 May 2006)
To be discussed in CouncilNot known
Committee's assessmentPolitically important
Committee's decisionCleared


63.1 Regulation (EC, Euratom) No. 58/97 sets a framework for Community statistics on the structure, activity, competitiveness and performance of businesses. The Regulation has since been amended four times.

63.2 The draft Regulation is to consolidate the existing Regulations and to make a number of amendments to the regime. When we last considered this proposal we asked, before considering the matter finally, to know the outcome of a subsidiarity/competence issue that had been drawn to our attention.[163]

The Minister's letter

63.3 The Financial Secretary to the Treasury (John Healey) now tells us that the Council Legal Service has not yet advised on whether the draft Regulation is subject to the Treaty provisions on subsidiarity because the matter is not within the exclusive competence of the Community. But he says the Council Legal Service has advised on this question in relation to two other proposals, on transmission of national data accounts and classification of economic activities,[164] concluding that they are not matters of exclusive competence, so that the Council Working Party is considering subsidiarity and whether appropriate recitals are needed in the draft Regulations. The Minister says that on this basis it is expected that the Council Legal Service will advise similarly on this draft Regulation and it is the intention of the Government and other Member States to seek the inclusion of an appropriate recital.

63.4 The Minister takes this opportunity to inform us of another matter. The drafting of this proposed Regulation is based on a common statistical classification of economic activities known as NACE Rev 1.1 (from Nomenclature general des activités économiques dans les communautés européennes). The draft Regulation on classification of economic activities mentioned above will change the common classification to NACE Rev 2. Since progress is being made on that proposal, it is probable that the structural business statistics data to be collected under this draft Regulation would be under NACE Rev 1.1 for one year only. Therefore, while the Government maintains its support for the overall purposes of the proposal it has agreed with the position of a significant number of Member States that it will not be able to vote in favour of this draft Regulation while it is cast in terms of NACE Rev 1.1 The Commission is now considering its response to this position taken by Member States.


63.5 We are grateful to the Minister for this information and, having no further questions, clear the document.

163   See headnote. Back

164   (27126) 15947/05: See HC 34-xv (2005-06), para 19 (18 January 2006), (27299) 6374/06: HC 34-xxii (2005-06), para 7 (15 March 2006) and HC 34-xxviii (2005-06), para 17 (10 May 2006). Back

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