THE OTHER INSTITUTIONS
94. The Conference has examined proposals for modifications
in the size and composition of the other Institutions, The PPR
notes that "there was overall support for maintaining the
status quo, apart from a few adjustments, largely concerning the
size of the consultative bodies and, secondarily, their role."
We have not taken evidence on these points, but a summary of the
relevant parts of the Presidency Paper is included here.
95. On the Court of Auditors, a majority
of delegations wishes to see one national from each Member State
"in order to facilitate co-operation with the competent national
audit bodies", while others would prefer maintaining the
current size of the Court (15) or a reduction to 12 members. Most
delegations are open to the ideas of setting up "Chambers"
to allow the Court to function more efficiently, and of allowing
the Court to draw up its own Rules of Procedure, but others feel
that the case for these changes has not been made.
96. The composition of the Economic and Social
Committee, and the Committee of the Regions which currently
consist of 222 Members each (between 6 and 24 per Member State),
has also been examined. At present, the Treaty does not lay down
a maximum size for either of these bodies. A majority of delegations
favours setting a limit on the overall size of the Economic and
Social Committee, and several delegations favour setting a limit
on the size of the Committee of the Regions.
97. In both cases, proposals have been made for a
ceiling either one-half or one-third of that set for the European
Parliament. However, other delegations would favour an extrapolation
from the present system of allocation of seats, which would mean
that the consultative bodies would continue to grow in size.
98. These institutional issues have not been considered
fully by the IGC, although they need to be resolved before enlargement
takes place.We received little or no evidence on these issues,
and can make no firm recommendations.
99. The Committee considers that the 2000 Inter-Governmental
Conference raises important questions to which the attention of
the House should be drawn, and makes this Report to the House
23 White Paper, p.20. Back
White Paper, pp 20-21. Back
Article 306 EC. Back
The Protocol incorporating the Schengen acquis is an example of
closer co-operation adopted in anticipation of the entry into
force of the amended Treaties. Back
An amendment was moved at this point, and the Committee divided.
See Appendix1 for the text of the amendment and the result of
the division. Back