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Ec Social Charter

Volume 201: debated on Tuesday 14 January 1992

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To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what regulations he proposes to introduce to implement the employment provisions of the EC social charter.

The social charter, signed by the 11 other member states. was a political declaration and has no legal effect. Where legislation is required to implement directives agreed under the social action programme, this will be introduced within the timetable for implementation set out in each proposal.


To ask the Secretary of State for Employment if he will make a statement on the outcome of the discussions on the social charter in Maastricht on 10 December.

The Maastricht treaty on European union confirms that the social provisions chapter within the existing treaty of Rome will be retained. There will be no extensions of the Community's present powers in employment and social affairs, and no increase in the use within the Council of Ministers of qualified majority voting.That is the outcome for which the Government argued throughout the negotiations. It leaves the leading responsibility for employment and social policies where it belongs, firmly in the hands of national Parliaments, and is good news for British jobs and for the competitiveness of our industry.Should other member states wish to go further than provided for in the treaty, they can do so by way of the separate protocol and agreement on social affairs.