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Select Committee on European Communities Eleventh Report


B. CASES WHERE EFFECTIVE SCRUTINY HAS NOT BEEN POSSIBLE

33. DRAFT DIRECTIVE RELATING TO TELECOMMUNICATIONS TERMINAL EQUIPMENT AND SATELLITE EARTH STATION EQUIPMENT, INCLUDING MUTUAL RECOGNITION OF CONFORMITY (4278/96)

Letter from Barbara Roche MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Small Firms, Trade and Industry, Department of Trade and Industry, to Lord Tordoff, Chairman of the Committee

  I am writing to you as Chairman of the House of Lords Select Committee on European Legislation to inform you and, through you, your committee that for administrative reasons the scrutiny reserve on the above draft directive has had to be raised.

  The purpose of this draft Directive is to combine Directives on the mutual recognition of conformity of telecommunications terminal and satellite earth station equipment (Directives 91/263/EEC, 93/97/EEC, and 93/68/EEC) into an officially codified single text which is clearer and more accessible.

  On 28 February 1996 the House of Commons Select Committee when it considered this draft Directive and Explanatory Memorandum (4278/96) made no recommendation but asked for further information on the extent to which the opportunity of this consolidation would be used to clarify the legislation involved. No such specific action involving clarification was in mind and the draft proposal is a consolidation of existing texts and no more.

  A response is outstanding but the delay is referable to the fact that the European Commission did not bring forward a further and substantive Directive in this area until June of this year. This Directive on Connected Telecommunications Equipment and the Mutual Recognition of the Conformity of the Equipment which is designed to fully harmonise the market for telecommunications terminal and radio equipment within Europe was the subject of an Explanatory Memorandum (8944/97) submitted on 28 July 1997, and considered but not cleared by the Commons Committee, pending the supply of further information, on 30 July 1997.

  In order not to hold up business which is in the UK's interest and given the nature of the proposal which is a consolidating directive I hope that the Committees will understand why it was felt appropriate to lift the reserve in this particular case.

29 October 1997

Letter from Lord Tordoff, Chairman of the Committee, to Barbara Roche MP Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Small Firms, Trade and Industry, Department of Trade and Industry

  Thank you for your letter of 29 October and your subsequent supplementary Explanatory Memorandum of 17 November on the above document.

  Your letter provided an explanation for why the Parliamentary scrutiny reserve on the draft Directive had been raised before the completion of the scrutiny process. It is regrettable that the timetable for the proposal has led to this situation.

  In the event, however, the draft Directive was sifted to Sub-Committee B for information only and is therefore no longer under scrutiny.

10 December 1997


 
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