Select Committee on European Union Fortieth Report


Letter from the Chairman to Rt Hon Alistair Darling MP, Secretary of State, Department for Transport

  Sub-Committee B considered this document and your Explanatory Memorandum at its meeting on 24 April 2006.

  We note the Government's concern over subsidiarity issues, and its further concerns as set out in paras 12-18 of your Explanatory Memorandum. We look forward to receiving a full Regulatory Impact Assessment. In your Explanatory Memorandum you mention that a presentation on this Regulation was scheduled for the Council Meeting on 27 March and that you anticipated that a Working Group would be set up following the meeting. Can you now confirm whether this occurred? Can you advise us of any timetable which was agreed?

  We will maintain scrutiny on this proposal at this stage.

25 April 2006

Letter from Rt Hon Douglas Alexander MP, Secretary of State, Department for Transport to the Chairman

  Thank you for your letter of 25 April to my predecessor Alistair Darling, in which you maintained the scrutiny reserve on the above subject.

  I note that you will maintain scrutiny at this stage, and thought that you would wish to know that the timetable for negotiations on this dossier has still not been established. As requested, I can confirm that at the Transport Council on 27 March the Commission gave a presentation on the Regulation, which the Commissioner explained would be a voluntary system to provide a quality label of "secure operators". As you noted from the EM, we had expected that a Working Group would be established after the Council to develop the proposal. The Austrian Presidency has not scheduled any Working Group time for discussion of this proposal, however; I therefore now expect it to be taken forward by the Finnish Presidency in the second half of 2006. The European Parliament is still in the early stages of dealing with this dossier, and has also not yet set a timetable to consider it.

  The Department will begin work on a Regulatory Impact Assessment shortly, which will of course be submitted to you as soon as it is complete. I will also keep you informed of the timetable in both Transport Council and the European Parliament, and keep you updated as the negotiations progress.

26 May 2006

Letter from the Chairman to Rt Hon Douglas Alexander MP

Thank you for your letter of 26 May. Sub-Committee B considered your letter at its meeting on 12 June.

  We were grateful to you for confirming the timetable for the proposed Regulation as it stands, and await the Regulatory Impact Assessment which you mention. As the proposal continues to raise the issue of subsidiarity, we will continue to maintain scrutiny on this proposal.

15 June 2006

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