Select Committee on European Union Fortieth Report


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

  Thank you for Explanatory Memorandum 5973/06 which Sub-Committee A considered at their meeting on 14 March and decided to hold under scrutiny.

  The Committee share your concern over the proposal to increase the funding available for the Flexibility Instrument from €200 million to €700 million. We do not consider that the Commission's document makes the case for this change and would like to be kept updated on negotiations. The Committee note that your EM does not indicate the Government's position on the new Globalisation Adjustment Fund. Whilst we understand that this results from the December Council agreement, we would appreciate details of your analysis of it.

15 March 2006

Letter from Rt Hon Douglas Alexander MP to the Chairman

  Thank you for your letter of 15 March, in which you ask for details of the Government's analysis of the Globalisation Adjustment Fund.

  The December European Council agreed to establish a Globalisation Adjustment Fund of up to €500 million a year, financed through underspends in the budget. The purpose of the Fund is to provide support for workers made redundant as a result of major structural changes in world trade patterns. This will not be a fund that protects companies that need to restructure; it will be a fund that helps people to retrain, reskill and find new jobs. This Government believes that the Fund could play a useful role in helping the EU respond to the challenges of globalisation.

  On 1 March, the European Commission published a formal proposal (COM (2006) 91 final) for a Regulation of the European Parliament and the European Council establishing the Fund. This Government will deposit an Explanatory Memorandum setting out its position on the proposal in Parliament on 29 March.

  At present, I have nothing further to report with regard to the renewal of the Interinstitutional Agreement on budgetary discipline and improvement of the budget procedure. However, I shall keep you updated on the negotiations as requested.

28 March 2006

Letter from the Chairman to Rt Hon Douglas Alexander MP

  Thank you very much for your Explanatory Memorandum 6426/06 which Sub-Committee A considered at their meeting on 28 March. The Sub-Committee have decided to hold the document under scrutiny and would like to be kept updated on future negotiations.

30 March 2006

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