Letter from Joyce Quin MP, Minister of
State at the Home Office to Lord Tordoff, Chairman of the Select
Committee on the European Communities
In my letter of 18 March I promised that I would
write to you again after the Justice and Home Affairs Council.
As you may already be aware it did not prove
possible to reach political agreement on the draft EURODAC Convention
at the Council. Further work will now be undertaken with the hope
that the outstanding issues may be resolved in time to allow political
agreement to be reached at the JHA Council at the end of May.
At its meeting the Council commissioned a feasibility
study to examine the legal and technical implications of a possible
extension of the EURODAC Convention to cover illegal immigrants.
The intention is that this will then enable the Council to make
an informed decision on the question in May. If the Council decides
that the scope of the Convention should be extended it is likely
that this would be effected by a subsequent instrument so that
agrement could be reached on the text of the Convention as it
Although there are some important questions
still outstanding I would be grateful if the Committee could now
look to conclude its consideration of the draft EURODAC Convention
as soon as possible. I will, of course, be happy to respond to
any further concerns which the Committee may wish to raise.
I am copying this letter to Jim Marshall as
Acting Chairman of the European Legislation Committee in the House
of Commons and to Chris Mullin as Chairman of the House of Commons
Home Affairs Committee and to Doug Henderson.
31 March 1998