Select Committee on European Union Fortieth Report


Letter from Rt Hon Geoff Hoon MP, Minister for Europe, Foreign and Commonwealth Office to the Chairman

  In his letter to you of 20 December 2005[63], Douglas Alexander undertook to keep the Committees up to date on the developments of the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) Action Plans and to submit a further Explanatory Memorandum once the negotiations of the "second-wave" Action Plans had been completed. I am writing to inform you that negotiations for the Lebanon Action Plan were completed in early July, prior to the publication of the final draft on 7 July and that the Plan is due to be adopted by the Council on 16 October. I now submit an Explanatory Memorandum on the Action Plan for consideration by your Committee.

  I should explain that we had intended to submit this Explanatory Memorandum before the summer recess. But the conflict in Lebanon that began on 12 July raised the possibility of significant change to the Action Plan.

  Now that the hostilities have ended it is clear that the text remains fundamentally sound, and it is unlikely to change significantly before adoption. The Government remains convinced that the Action Plan with Lebanon will contribute to the much needed peace and security in that country. It will also provide opportunities for closer co-operation in key areas of common interest, including political and economic reform, combating terrorism, border security and improving the conditions of the Palestinian refugees. The Government hopes that the Action Plan will reinvigorate Lebanon's reform programme aimed at further integration into European economic and social structures and work in the interests of stability in the Middle East.

28 September 2006

63   Refers to letter addressed to J Hood, MP, European Scrutiny Committee, House of Commons. Back

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