E-mail to the Chair of the Committee from
Mr Robert Walter MP
As you know I never received an invitation to your
meeting on 16 November. I was actually on my way back from Paris
at the time where I had been dealing with some of the consequences
of the closing of the WEU next year, but had I known about the
meeting I would have been there.
I have been sent a copy of the minutes of your meeting
with a request that I send any comments to you.
I have three specific observations on your discussion:
1. There should be a small specialist secretariat
who would monitor the activities of the relevant institutions,
inform the agenda and advise members of the conference.
2. The High Representative should be asked to
publish an annual report of the activities of the Council in the
field of Common Foreign and Security Policy. This is already a
provision for the European Parliament, and would follow from the
existing annual report of the Council to the Assembly of the WEU.
3. Whilst you suggest that there should be no
committees, the conference should from time to time be able to
set up ad hoc groups to study specific aspects of CFSP.
Additionally with regard to costs it is worth bearing
in mind that the original Standing Conference model that was proposed
by the WEU Assembly would have a total secretariat cost payable
by national Parliaments of approximately 1 million, divided
between the 27. This is less than the cost to national Parliaments
of either the NATO Parliamentary Assembly or the OSCE Assembly,
neither of which have a specific scrutiny role.
I hope this is helpful.
If you are in discussion with the Backbench Business
Committee about a possible date for debate could I request that
you avoid the week of 24 January when the entire Assembly delegation
will be away in Strasbourg.
24 November 2010