Select Committee on European Union Forty-Ninth Report

TERRORISM (7153/02)

Letter from the Chairman to Bob Ainsworth MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, Home Office

  The draft Decision was considered by Sub-Committee E (Law and Institutions) at its meeting on 15 May. The Committee was grateful for your Explanatory Memorandum in which you set out the potential problems arising from this Spanish Presidency initiative.

  The Committee notes that the draft Decision is "scheduled for agreement" at the Justice and Home Affairs Council. That seems to be highly ambitious. We agree with the Government that the proposal raises a number of concerns. These need proper and careful consideration and we would support you in seeking clarification of the issues described in paragraph 12 of your Explanatory Memorandum (ie. "jurisdiction" requirement for involvement of two or more Member States, the ability for States to deny access to information in defined circumstances, consistency with the Europol Convention, and no premature release of evidence. Substantial amendment of the text may well be needed.

  The Committee decided to retain the document under scrutiny and would be grateful to be kept informed of developments.

16 May 2002

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