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Division No. 1


Astor, V.
Astor of Hever, L.
Attlee, E.
Biffen, L.
Blackwell, L.
Blatch, B.
Boardman, L.
Bridgeman, V.
Brougham and Vaux, L.
Chadlington, L.
Colwyn, L.
Cope of Berkeley, L. [Teller]
Craigavon, V.
Dixon-Smith, L.
Erroll, E.
Forsyth of Drumlean, L.
Glentoran, L.
Gray of Contin, L.
Hanham, B.
Henley, L.
Hodgson of Astley Abbotts, L.
Hogg, B.
Howe, E.
Howell of Guildford, L.
Jopling, L.
Kelvedon, L.
King of Bridgwater, L.
Knight of Collingtree, B.
Liverpool, E.
Lucas, L.
Marlesford, L.
Miller of Hendon, B.
Monro of Langholm, L.
Monson, L.
Montrose, D.
Murton of Lindisfarne, L.
Noakes, B.
Northesk, E.
Norton of Louth, L.
Onslow, E.
Park of Monmouth, B.
Pearson of Rannoch, L.
Peel, E.
Renton, L.
Roberts of Conwy, L.
Rotherwick, L.
Seccombe, B. [Teller]
Selsdon, L.
Skelmersdale, L.
Soulsby of Swaffham Prior, L.
Stewartby, L.
Stoddart of Swindon, L.
Strathclyde, L.
Trefgarne, L.
Vivian, L.
Wilcox, B.
Willoughby de Broke, L.
Windlesham, L.


Acton, L.
Addington, L.
Amos, B.
Andrews, B.
Ashton of Upholland, B.
Barker, B.
Bassam of Brighton, L.
Billingham, B.
Blackstone, B.
Borrie, L.
Bradshaw, L.
Brennan, L.
Brooke of Alverthorpe, L.
Brookman, L.
Burlison, L.
Campbell-Savours, L.
Carter, L. [Teller]
Castle of Blackburn, B.
Chan, L.
Clarke of Hampstead, L.
Clinton-Davis, L.
Corbett of Castle Vale, L.
Crawley, B.
Dahrendorf, L.
David, B.
Davies of Coity, L.
Davies of Oldham, L.
Dormand of Easington, L.
Dubs, L.
Elder, L.
Evans of Parkside, L.
Falconer of Thoroton, L.
Farrington of Ribbleton, B.
Faulkner of Worcester, L.
Filkin, L.
Fyfe of Fairfield, L.
Gale, B.
Geraint, L.
Gibson of Market Rasen, B.
Gladwin of Clee, L.
Goldsmith, L.
Goudie, B.
Gould of Potternewton, B.
Grabiner, L.
Graham of Edmonton, L.
Greaves, L.
Grocott, L.
Hamwee, B.
Hannay of Chiswick, L.
Harris of Haringey, L.
Harris of Richmond, B.
Harrison, L.
Hayman, B.
Hilton of Eggardon, B.
Hollis of Heigham, B.
Hooson, L.
Howarth of Breckland, B.
Howells of St. Davids, B.
Howie of Troon, L.
Hoyle, L.
Hughes of Woodside, L.
Hunt of Kings Heath, L.
Irvine of Lairg, L. (Lord Chancellor)
Janner of Braunstone, L.
Jay of Paddington, B.
Judd, L.
Kirkhill, L.
Laird, L.
Layard, L.
Lipsey, L.
Macdonald of Tradeston, L.
McIntosh of Haringey, L. [Teller]
McIntosh of Hudnall, B.
MacKenzie of Culkein, L.
Mackenzie of Framwellgate, L.
Maclennan of Rogart, L.
Maddock, B.
Mallalieu, B.
Massey of Darwen, B.
Milner of Leeds, L.
Mitchell, L.
Newby, L.
Nicol, B.
Northover, B.
Pendry, L.
Prys-Davies, L.
Radice, L.
Ramsay of Cartvale, B.
Razzall, L.
Rendell of Babergh, B.
Rooker, L.
Roper, L.
Sainsbury of Turville, L.
Scotland of Asthal, B.
Scott of Needham Market, B.
Serota, B.
Sharman, L.
Sheldon, L.
Simon, V.
Smith of Clifton, L.
Symons of Vernham Dean, B.
Taylor of Blackburn, L.
Temple-Morris, L.
Thomas of Walliswood, B.
Tomlinson, L.
Tugendhat, L.
Turner of Camden, B.
Uddin, B.
Wallace of Saltaire, L.
Walpole, L.
Warner, L.
Warwick of Undercliffe, B.
Watson of Richmond, L.
Whitaker, B.
Whitty, L.
Wilkins, B.
Williams of Crosby, B.
Williams of Elvel, L.
Williams of Mostyn, L. (Lord Privy Seal)
Williamson of Horton, L.
Woolmer of Leeds, L.

Resolved in the negative, and amendment disagreed to accordingly.

15 Nov 2001 : Column 737

7.17 p.m.

[Amendments Nos. 12 to 14 not moved.]

Lord Howell of Guildford moved Amendment No. 15:

    Page 1, line 9, after "10," insert "other than Article 2, paragraph 9, subsection 1, revising Article 137 of the Treaty establishing the European Community,"

The noble Lord said: We now turn away from the Treaty on European Union to deal with the treaty establishing the European Communities. For those who, like me, sometimes feel bewildered by the colossal volume of paper and the need to find one's way around between the different treaties, the excellent publication, The Treaty of Nice in perspective, Volume 2, guides us to the appropriate article; that is Article 137 of the treaties establishing the European Communities.

This is an area in which the phrase "Community activism" comes to mind. A long list of the involvements with which the Community institutions want to go ahead already existed in the previous treaties. The phrase used is:

    "the Community shall support and complement the activities of the Member States in the following fields".

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However, there have been additions to the long list. I pause for a moment on the word "complement". Co-ordination is immensely valuable. That applies, for instance, in a field which is not covered by the amendment, but which is important; that is, overseas aid. Everyone wants co-ordination and concertation. That makes enormous sense in the modern world.

Then comes the thought that there should be complementary activity over and above the co-ordination of member states' activities; a new layer of operations and programmes and, inevitably, transfer of resources, which adds to the complexity of the European effort without necessarily improving it. Indeed, in some areas we have sad evidence, which we shall come to when we debate matters such as the audit procedures of the European Union, that these additional and complementary layers of activity breed a great deal of expenditure and not, alas, effective results. Remote and ineffectual are the adjectives that come to mind. I believe that originally they were applied to dons, but often they are applied to some of these programmes that merely add to the existing efforts of the member states.

It would tire noble Lords for me to go over the matters covered by previous treaties, but they are there. Let us look at the additions to Article 137 that the Nice Treaty introduces and that this legislation introduces into our law. Paragraph (j) is an admirable aim,

    "the combating of social exclusion".

We all want to combat social exclusion, but our success in many areas is limited. In our own country, let alone in the wider world, there are still areas of intolerable poverty and deprivation and conditions that should not exist in the 21st century. We are all guilty and the finger of shame should point at us all.

I would not recommend some of the policies of recent years aimed at combating social exclusion but I believe that some of the policies that were tried in the 1970s and 1980s should have been pushed to a more successful conclusion. Either way, one has to decide whether such matters are best handled and complemented at a national level or at a European institution level. On these Benches the instinct is for the former. We believe that such matters are best handled at a national level.

That kind of language will be familiar to your Lordships in relation to the old argument about subsidiarity. There was to be a system by which someone—it turned out to be the European institutions themselves, in particular the Commission—was to decide whether such matters were best handled at a national level or at a Community level. Needless to say, in almost every case, except for one or two very small ones, the decision was taken that such matters were best handled at a Community level.

The subsidiarity saga has not really taken off and has not worked well at all in this area or in any other. We now see that this intimate aspect of policy, where policy effects must be geared sensitively to the social conditions, to the working conditions, to the life

15 Nov 2001 : Column 739

conditions and to the family conditions of individual citizens in individual communities and parishes, is a matter that the great community of 15 nations will support and complement. I wonder whether the philosophy behind that is at all modern.

It appears to me that it is a pattern that belongs to the world of yesterday, the world of centralisation, where big is better, a world in which Aristotle warned that there must be a limit to the size of a state and to the size of human organisations. I believe that that is true. I wonder whether attempting to grapple with social exclusion at the level of the European Community is a sensible addition to the agenda with which the senior officials of the European Community should be concerned; for example, the making of Europe-wide rules and regulations where they have value to add rather than in areas where they just add more organisation and more cost.

Another point on the list is the modernisation of social protection systems without prejudice to point (c), which is,

    "social security and social protection of workers".

That was there already. Again, this marks a substantial advance into detailed national and domestic concerns. Even if noble Lords do not like the word "national", there are concerns that are best administered on the shop floor or in the home or the workplace, but here they are added to the list. Other aspects of Article 137 make us feel that the activism, the desire to become involved, has become more important than the achievement of effective results.

Those are my main points in relation to this article, but there are others that noble Lords may want to develop. This is a good and a worrying example, not of building a great common market, not even of building European unity, but of taking to the centre activities, energies, involvement and resources that should be administered through the nation or member states. Instead, of co-ordinating and making rules and regulations, this is the genesis or the seed of programmes that will not be effective. They will probably stand in the way of the dedicated work that is being carried out in nation states to overcome the social exclusion of which there is still too much in our land. I beg to move.

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