Select Committee on European Communities Report


Letter from Lord Tordoff, Chairman of the Committee, to Ian McCartney Esq MP, Minister of State, Department of Trade and Industry

  Sub-Committee E (Law and Institutions) considered the draft Council Decision at its meeting on 24 June. It noted that the effect of Article 3 was to give the Commission powers to represent and negotiate on behalf of the Community "on issues which fall within the remit of the Assemblies" established under the two WIPO Treaties. The Committee would be grateful if you could confirm that the Commission's powers would be limited to matters falling within Community competence. Would you agree that if this is so the text of the Decision might be amended to make the position clear? I would be pleased to have your views on these matters. This letter clears the proposal from scrutiny.

25 June 1998

Letter from Ian McCartney MP, Minister of State, Department of Trade and Industry, to Lord Tordoff, Chairman of the Committee

  I refer to your letter of 25 June concerning this draft Council Decision.

  As it stands, Article 3 of the proposal would not seem to us to confine the Commission's powers to matters falling within Community competence. However, we agree with your Committee's view that their powers should be so limited, and it is our intention to press for amendments to the text to make clear that this is the case. Indeed, we have already raised the matter during an initial discussion on the draft Decision which took place at Council working group level in May, and our views were shared by the Legal Services of the Council.

  I hope that this explanation of the position is helpful.

6 July 1998

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