Select Committee on European Communities Eleventh Report



Letter from Lord Tordoff, Chairman of the Committee, to Jeff Rooker MP, Minister of State, Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food

  Sub-Committee C has read this Communication and your accompanying Explanatory Memorandum with considerable interest. We are clearing the document, but would like to make some comments and to request that you keep us informed.

  We very much welcome the Commission's new approach, as exemplified in the Communication, to the way in which it obtains and uses scientific advice. The principles of excellence, independence and transparency" are ones which this Committee has frequently advocated, particularly in the environmental field: to this day Sub-Committee C remains dissatisfied with the opaqueness of much of the scientific advice which lies behind proposals emanating from DG XI. It is unfortunate that it has taken the BSE crisis to bring home to the Commission the crucial connection between transparency and public confidence. In this respect policies on consumer health have much in common with those on both environmental protection and agriculture. In evidence to Sub-Committee D last week, Lord Donoughue made plain that increasing the transparency of policy-making was a priority of the Government. It may well be that both DG VI and DG XI will have something to learn from DG XXIV.

  We shall be concerned to monitor the horizontal" effect of the new policy across the Commission's services in general and in DG VI and DG XI in particular. We would therefore like you to keep us informed of any significant developments in the application of the policy by DG XXIV and to alert us immediately if there should be any sign of the Commission not living up to its intentions.

21 July 1997

previous page contents next page

House of Lords home page Parliament home page House of Commons home page search page enquiries

© Parliamentary copyright 1998