Select Committee on European Union Fortieth Report


Letter from Lord Rooker, Minister of State for Sustainable Farming and Food, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs to the Chairman

  Following the recent placing of Council document 8718/06, which sets out the result from the First Reading in the European Parliament, I am writing to inform your Committee of the current position on this dossier.

  The substance of the original proposal was set out in Explanatory Memorandum 12123/04, which was cleared, by the House of Commons Committee on 3 November 2004 and the House of Lords on 2 November 2004. Under the proposed legal base (article 57(2) of the Accession Treaty), the European Parliament would have had no legislative role.

  Following discussion in COREPER, it was agreed to change the legal base to article 175(1) of the EC Treaty (co-decision) and the Commission confirmed subsequently that it could accept this change and modify the proposal accordingly. The European Parliament's first reading of this amended dossier was on 27 April 2006 and the Parliament approved the Commission's modified proposal without amendment. This should enable the Council to adopt the proposal as an A point.

  As noted in the Explanatory Memorandum, the dossier will not have any impact on UK law and has only minor effect on the two UK producers of HCFCs.

18 May 2006

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