Select Committee on European Union Fortieth Report


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

  Your Explanatory Memorandum dated 15 June was considered by Sub-Committee G on 6 July.

  We note that this is a non-binding Communication which has no financial implications and amounts to what you describe as "largely a declaration of intent". As such, we are prepared to release it from scrutiny.

  Nevertheless, you should know that we share your concern about the possibility that the Commission may attempt to stray beyond its advisory role at the ILO into areas where Member States have sole competence. We also share your reservations over the possible implications of applying the "decent work agenda" to WTO negotiations, Commission development policy and the multilateral framework on labour migration. We fully agree that the Government needs to be vigilant to those possibilities and hope that other Member States will endorse that need for vigilance.

  Although internal employment and social policy issues are the responsibility of Sub-Committee G, the document deals mostly with Commission policy towards Accession states and neighbourhood and third countries, including trade and development aspects. These aspects are of potential interest to Sub-Committees C (Foreign Affairs, Defence and Development Policy), A (Economic and Financial Affairs) and B (Internal Market). We have informed those Sub-Committees and will need to take account of their interests when the Commission's follow-up report is published in 2008.

6 July 2006

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