Select Committee on European Union Fortieth Report


Letter from the Chairman to Caroline Flint MP, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Public Health, Department of Health

  Thank you for your Explanatory Memorandum dated 4 January 2006 which was considered by Sub-Committee G on 2 February 2006.

  We are content to clear this document from scrutiny, although we would be glad if you would send us a copy of the Government's submission to the Commission consultation.

  You write that the Government supports the thrust of the Commission's Platform for Action "which puts the onus on industry and the range of other non-governmental players across Europe". We trust that you accept the Government has a clear role to play in promoting healthy diets, as well as working together with industry and health NGOs to further this aim.

  We also hope you will make sure that the Commission strategy takes due account of all the relevant factors, including the relationship between malnutrition and obesity.

2 February 2006

Letter from Caroline Flint MP to the Chairman

  When the Lords Scrutiny Committee cleared the Explanatory Memorandum, deposited in the House on 4 January, it requested a copy of the UK Government response to the European Commission's Green Paper on Diet and Physical Activity. I am therefore pleased to enclose our response which was submitted to the European Commission at the end of March (not printed).

  The key messages for the Commission contained in the UK response are:

    —  the vast majority of areas covered in the Green Paper are best tackled by actions at national level;

    —  we support the voluntary self regulatory approach;

    —  there are certain areas where the Commission can support and enable national governments;

    —  it is important to the UK that our non-regulatory initiatives are taken up elsewhere in the EU so that our efforts are not diluted; and

    —  there is much good work already underway across the UK.

18 April 2006

Letter from the Chairman to Caroline Flint MP

  Thank you for your letter dated 18 April which was considered by Sub-Committee G on 11 May.

  We are grateful to you for sending us a copy of the UK response to the Commission's Green Paper. We are pleased to see that this stresses that the vast majority of areas covered by the Green Paper are best tackled at national level and through a voluntary self-regulatory approach. We note that you have indicated quite a number of areas where Commission action might be appropriate. At first sight, the list seems quite extensive. We trust that, in making those suggestions, the Government was satisfied that they were fully consistent with your overall approach to this matter, as well as with the requirements of competence and subsidiarity.

  As you know, we have already released the Green Paper from scrutiny. We look forward to examining the Commission's conclusions in due course.

12 May 2006

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