Select Committee on European Union Fortieth Report


CONFRONTING DEMOGRAPHIC CHANGE: A NEW SOLIDARITY BETWEEN THE GENERATIONS (7607/05)

Letter from the Chairman to James Plaskitt MP, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Work and Pensions

  Thank you for your letter dated 29 November 2005[194] enclosing copies of the Government's Response to the Commission Consultation and the UK Position Paper on the Ageing Society.

  These documents were initially considered by Sub-Committee G on 9 January. We propose to give them more careful detailed consideration at a subsequent meeting and will write again as soon as we have done so.

  In the meantime, we would be interested to know the result of the policy debate which you expected to take place at the Employment and Social Policy Council on 8 December 2005. We would also be glad to know how consideration of the Green Paper is likely to be carried forward during the Austrian Presidency.

  We will continue to hold the document under scrutiny in the meantime.

12 January 2006

Letter from James Plaskitt MP to the Chairman

  Thank you for your letter dated 12 January 2006, following initial consideration of this document by your Committee.

  I can confirm now that the Commission are expected to publish a Communication after the Spring European Council and that this will be submitted for scrutiny under cover of an Explanatory Memorandum.

  The document should follow-up both the Green Paper and the Hampton Court Summit, held last October, on the challenges that globalisation presents to meeting the Lisbon goals.

  You had also asked about outcomes from the Employment and Social Policy Council on 8 December 2005. I attach a copy of the Written Statement which I made to the House on 14 December (not printed).

  You may also wish to note that I am submitting a Ministerial Statement about the forthcoming Council on 10 March at which the Presidency will provide information on the conference that they hosted on "Demographic Challenges—Family needs partnership".

  I hope that you will now be able to consider that the Green Paper passes scrutiny.

7 March 2006

Letter from the Chairman to James Plaskitt MP

  Thank you for your letter dated 7 March which was considered by Sub-Committee G on 23 March.

  We are grateful to you for reporting on the Commission's plan to publish a Communication based on the Green Paper consultation and for the additional information about this contained in Mr Woolley's letter dated 28 February to the Clerk to Sub-Committee G.

  We have subsequently learned that the Commission is now expected to adopt a Communication on Demographics on 10 May which will include a synthesis of responses to the 2005 Green Paper, the first results of analytical pilot studies by the Commission and Commission proposals for further action.

  Your letter also mentions that you were submitting a Ministerial Statement about the March Council at which the Presidency was expected to provide information on the conference on "Demographic Challenges—Family needs partnership". We have seen a reference to a written item about this in your Statement dated 8 March, but it is not mentioned in your subsequent Statement to the House on 17 March reporting on the Council meeting. We presume this was because the item was not debated, but we would be interested to see a copy of the document which was circulated at that meeting.

  We confirm, as requested, that we are willing to release the Green Paper itself from scrutiny. But we will want to consider carefully the expected Commission Communication, and your Explanatory Memorandum about it, when they are submitted for subsequent scrutiny and may wish to consider holding an Inquiry on the Commission proposals.

24 March 2006

Letter from James Plaskitt MP to the Chairman

  Thank you for your letter of 24 March.

  I can confirm that the above agenda item was not debated at the 8 March Employment and Social Policy Council. The Council did, however formally note the information provided by the Presidency.

  I am attaching the paper that was circulated at the meeting for your information (not printed).

25 April 2006



194   Correspondence with Ministers, 45th Report of Session 2005-06, HL Paper 243, p 565. Back


 
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