Select Committee on European Communities Nineteenth Report


27 JULY 1999

By the Select Committee appointed to consider Community proposals, whether in draft or otherwise, to obtain all necessary information about them, and to make reports on those which, in the opinion of the Committee, raise important questions of policy or principle, and on other questions to which the Committee considers that the special attention of the House should be drawn.




1. A Special European Council is to be held in Tampere, Finland, on 15 and 16 October 1999. This will be the first ever summit of the Heads of State and Government of the European Union dedicated to justice and home affairs.

2. Taking place only a few months after the entry into force of the Treaty of Amsterdam the summit offers a unique opportunity for the European Union to further define the content and the priorities of the "area of freedom, security and justice" established by the new Treaty. As a result of the Amsterdam reforms the European Union has been vested with a whole range of new objectives and possibilities for action in justice and home affairs. The Tampere European Council is expected to provide political guidelines on how these should be used to give substance to the concept of an "area of freedom, security and justice".


3. This report was written with two aims in mind. The first aim was to inform the House about this significant development in EU policy-making in the area of justice and home affairs. To this end, we set out in Part 2 a summary of the Treaty provisions in this area, and give an account of the preparations being made for the summit. Secondly, we offer our opinions on the agenda for the summit. A summary of the evidence we took is to be found in Part 3, and our opinion is contained in Part 4.


4. The enquiry was carried out by Sub-Committee F (Social Affairs, Education and Home Affairs), whose members are listed in Appendix 1. The Specialist Adviser was Professor Jörg Monar, of the Centre for European Politics and Institutions at the University of Leicester. Oral and written evidence was received from the bodies and individuals listed in Appendix 2. The Sub-Committee wishes to record its thanks to Professor Monar, to the witnesses and to all others who have helped with the enquiry. The Sub-Committee visited Brussels in the course of the enquiry, and was most grateful to Sir Stephen Wall, United Kingdom Permanent Representative to the European Union, and the staff of UKREP for all of their help in connection with that visit.

previous page contents next page

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

© Parliamentary copyright 1999