3. The proposal has a lengthy scrutiny history
and the text has been substantially redrafted since the original
Commission proposal. The negotiation of the Framework Decision
has been actively pursued by successive Presidencies over the
past eighteen months. No agreement, however, was achieved under
the Danish or the Greek Presidencythe Framework Decision
is subject to unanimity and a number of Member States have difficulties
with the text.
It is as yet unclear what degree of priority the incoming Italian
Presidency will attach to the measure.
4. The draft Framework Decision has been the
subject of substantial correspondence between the Committee and
the Government. On 30 April we had a further meeting with Lord
Filkin CBE, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Home
Office, and officials.
The Government's Explanatory Memorandum dated 25 March 2003, the
ministerial correspondence and the transcript of the meeting with
the Minister are printed in Appendix 2 of this Report. We would
like to record our appreciation and thanks for the assistance
given by the Minister in this matter.
5. As we indicated in our earlier Report the
proposed Framework Decision raises a number of important and controversial
1 Combating Racism and Xenophobia-Defining criminal
offences in the EU (29th Report, 2001-02, HL Paper 162). Back
Carried out by Sub-Committee E (Law and Institutions) chaired
by Lord Scott of Foscote. The membership of the Sub-Committee
is set out in Appendix 1. Back
The Framework Decision would replace the 1996 Joint Action concerning
action to combat racism and xenophobia  OJ L 185/5. Back
This can be seen from section II "Outstanding Questions"
and the footnotes to the Text of the Decision in Droipen 14, Doc
The Committee's first meeting with the Minister on this subject
was in June 2002. A transcript of that meeting is printed with
our first Report, Combating Racism and Xenophobia-Defining
criminal offences in the EU (29th Report, 2001-02, HL Paper