Next steps with the Directives
14. Mr McFadden made clear to us that the
9 June agreement in Council on the two directives was by no means
the end of the story. Since both the proposals were subject to
the process of co-decision, it would now be necessary to seek
the views of the European Parliament on the texts agreed in Council.
The Minister thought that the process for the Parliament to consider
the texts would begin in September 2008 (QQ 5-6).
15. The Minister added that, if the European
Parliament were to request substantial changes to the latest texts,
a process of conciliation between the Council and the Parliament
could be entered into in order to find texts acceptable to both
institutions (Q 5). He assured us that the Government would
be talking to MEPs, not just UK MEPs, in order to try to secure
maximum support for the position that had been reached on 9 June.
It was for the Parliament to take its own view but, the Minister
emphasised, "I think it is worth everyone in this bearing
in mind how long it took to get the agreement on 9 June and, therefore,
if we all start unpicking it and saying, 'We don't like this part
and we don't like that part', we could be back where we were,
which was an inability to agree this" (QQ 10-11).
16. We welcome the agreements reached in Council
on 9 June on both these long-standing proposals. Bearing in mind,
however, that under the co-decision procedure the agreement of
the European Parliament must also be achieved, we urge the Government
to argue energetically the case with MEPs for the merits of the
texts agreed in Council.
17. Nevertheless, we recognise that achieving
the agreement of the European Parliament may not be straightforward
and that, since both the proposals are subject to co-decision,
a process of conciliation may be necessary. We plan therefore
to retain both these proposals under our scrutiny reserve and
to consider further any revised texts that may be brought forward
following the European Parliament's deliberations.
1 http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=OJ:L:2003:299:0009:0019:EN:PDF Back
The full title of the Council forum in which these matters are
discussed is the Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer
Affairs Council (EPSCO) Back
EU Select Committee, 9th Report (2003-04): The Working Time Directive:
A response to the European Commission's Review (HL 67) Back
EU Select Committee, 26h Report (2003-04): Government Responses
pp 39-43 Back
HL Deb 2 July 2004 cols 481-506 Back
Judgment of the Court of 3 October 2000 in case C-303/98, request
submitted to the Court by the Tribunal Superior de Justicia de
la Comunidad Valenciana (Spain) in the dispute between Sindicato
de Médicos de Asistencia Pública (SIMAP) and Conselleria
de Sanidad y Consumo de la Generalidad Valenciana, ECR 2000, p.
Judgment of the Court of 9 October 2003 in case C-151/02, request
submitted to the Court by the Landesarbeitsgericht Schleswig-Holstein
(Germany) concerning the dispute pending before that court between
Landeshauptstadt Kiel and Norbert Jaeger, ECR 2003, p. I-08389 Back
See the account of the SiMAP and Jaeger judgments
given in chapter 3 of the EU Committee report cited above. Back