Select Committee on European Communities Minutes of Evidence



Phare Committee

  Committee considers country operational programmes, rather than individual projects, though it does consider cross-border programmes. Meets about eight times a year.

TACIS Committee

  Examines projects and country programmes under TACIS. Meets about six times a year.

Asia Latin America (ALA) Committee

  Meets approximately monthly to consider projects under the ALA programme. So far it has not had a role in considering country strategies but, following pressure from member states, this is expected to start from 1998.

Mediterranean Committee

  Examines projects and country programmes financed from the MEDA budget line.

EDF Committee

  Normally meets monthly. Considers country programmes and projects submitted by the Commission. Voting power reflects share of EDF, but financing proposals are rarely put to a vote. Very few proposals are rejected; more often, if a project is not approved, it is postponed to the next meeting, for DGVIII officials to do more work on it.

  An "Article 28 Committee" meets about six times a year to approve allocation of interst rate subsidies and risk capital from the EDF, managed by the EIB.

Food Aid

  Committee meets quarterly to approve projects under the Food Aid Regulation. The 1996 Regulation allows much discretion in the use of the food aid budget for wider food security purposes.


  Number of regulations controlling EC spending in various areas under discussion. In all we (and several other member states) have successfully argued for management committees allowing member states a degree of control over expenditure.

Expert Groups

  There are expert groups in a number of subjects, some meeting ad hoc to discuss specific issues and policies, others meeting regularly. One of the most important in the latter group is the evaluation working group which is made up of the Commission and member states representatives. It has met approximately quarterly this year to carry out its work of overseeing evaluations of the ALA, MED, ECHO and ACP programmes.

Council chaired working groups

  Development Co-operation Working Group prepares the work of the Development Council. For Lome, ACP and ACP/FIN are the main groups. They prepare work for General Affairs. The Foreign Affairs Council is responsible for political issues concerning Central and Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union.

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