Select Committee on European Communities Tenth Report

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 stands.

  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

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