Letter from Lord Tordoff, Chairman of
the Select Committee on the European Communities to Joyce Quin
MP, Minister of State at the Home Office
The draft Eurodac Convention is currently under
scrutiny by Sub-Committe E (Law and Institutions). Having regard
to the concerns expressed last November by Justiceyou will
recall that I sent you a copy of their letter of 18 Novemberthe
views of Justice were sought on the draft furnished by you under
cover of your Explanatory Note of 26 January.
Earlier this week officials here spoke to your
officials after having read in the March statement of business
for the Council of the European Union the following entry for
the March 19 Justice and Home Affairs Council:
"Eurodac Convention: Conclusion and signature".
This took officials here somewhat by surprise
given newspaper reports of certain difficulties besetting the
negotiations and no indication from your officials of the potential
urgency of this matter. As you may know, officials here have been
working closely with your officials in the prioritisation and
handling of a number of Third Pillar matters currently under scrutiny.
I have now received the enclosed letter from
Justice. I would be pleased to have your response to the points
of substance raised by them on the text of the Convention.
At the same time it would be helpful if you
would comment on the reports in the press to the effect that Austria
and Germany had proposed extending the Convention to provide for
the automatic fingerprinting of persons trying to enter the Union
illegally. It would also be helpful if you could comment on the
Dutch position as described in Justice`s letter.
Finally, I would be grateful if you could say
whether any other Member State would have any difficulty in signing
the Convention. If so, could you please describe the nature of
their concerns. I appreciate that you may not feel able to identify
any particular Member State.
I am copying this letter to the Chairman and
Clerk of the European Legisation Committee in the House of Commons.
11 March 1998