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Eu Committees

Volume 405: debated on Tuesday 13 May 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if she will list (a) the names, titles and grades of the officials who sit on the EU advisory committee for implementation of the Community market-access strategy, (b) the number of times, and the dates, on which it has met since January 2002, (c) the agenda items it has considered since January 2002, (d) the decisions it has made since January 2002 and (e) the means used to communicate the decisions to the House. [110310]

The advisory committee for the implementation of the Community market access strategy is established under Council Decision (98/552/ EC) for consultation among member states and the Commission to assist in its activities set out in Article 1 of the Decision. As an advisory committee it does not take decisions, which remain the prerogative of the Commission.Details of the market access strategy—including access to the market access database, a key component—are available on-line at: http://europa.eu.int/comm./trade/mk_access/index_en.htm and http://mkaccdb.eu.int/ The committee has met twice since January 2002, on 6 June and 4 December 2002; one DTI official represented the UK on each occasion.A principal issue at these meetings was how the market access database could be developed into a more effective and more user friendly tool for traders. To this end, the Commission has now added new sections on market studies and on statistics and existing sections have been expanded. The committee also discussed the setting up of a new help desk, or one stop shop, to assist developing countries extend their export capability to the EU.In accordance with Council Decision 1999/268/EC on simplifying the requirements for the exercise of implementing powers conferred on the Commission, the Commission publishes an annual report on the working of committees. The latest report was deposited in the Libraries of both Houses on 13 January 2003 (Commission Document 5060/2003).The UK Government have encouraged the Commission to produce and maintain an electronic database of every comitology committee, their agendas and recent actions to be accessible through the Commission's website.