Select Committee on European Union Thirty-Seventh Report


Letter from John Healey MP, Financial Secretary, HM Treasury to the Chairman

  On 16 March 2006, the House of Lords' European Union Committee published a Report entitled, "A European Strategy for Jobs and Growth; Report with Evidence" (28th Report of Session 2005-06, HL Paper 137). The Report represented the results of the Committee's inquiry into the Lisbon Agenda; it discussed and made recommendations in a range of areas, including actions at the European and national levels.

  I would like to draw your attention to my letters of 29 May 2006 to you as Chairman of the House of Lords European Union Select Committee, copied to the Chairman and clerks of the House of Commons European Scrutiny Committee. While these letters were mainly concerned with replies to supplementary enquiries on two Explanatory Memoranda related to the Lisbon Strategy, I also explicitly touched upon some of the recommendations made in the said 28th Report. In particular, I set out our views on the Lisbon National Reform Programmes (NRPs), the Open Method of Coordination, peer review and the issue of a Ministerial-level Lisbon coordinator.

  Since these letters were written, in relation to the implementation of the Lisbon Strategy, the Government published in October 2006 an update on progress against its NRP, which, along with the updates from other Member States, was the subject of multilateral surveillance and Conclusions by the ECOFIN Council. In addition, the Commission's December 2006 Annual Progress Report (APR) contained assessments of all Member States programmes, as well as a recommendation to the Council under the EC Treaty for country-specific recommendations for economic and employment policies. I submitted an Explanatory Memorandum on the Commission's APR on 24 January 2007 and the European Council on 8-9 March 2007 endorsed the country-specific recommendations submitted by the Council ahead of their formal adoption later this year.

20 March 2007

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