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Eu Committees

Volume 405: debated on Tuesday 20 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 Scientific and Technical Research Committee, (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. [110293]

The Scientific and Technical Research Committee (CREST) is attended by officials from the Office of Science and Technology.

CREST has met on eight occasions since January 2002:

  • 282nd CREST, 24 to 27 March 2002;
  • 283rd CREST, 24 May 2002;
  • 284th CREST, 5 July 2002;
  • 285th CREST, 12 to 13 September 2002;
  • 286th CREST, 23 October 2002;
  • 286th CREST, 18 October 2005;
  • 287th CREST, 14 January 2003; and
  • 288th CREST, 27–28 March 2003.

During these meetings, CREST received updates on European Research and Technological Development (RTD) policy from the Commission and Presidency. In addition, it covered a range of other issues including:

the proposed content, evaluation and monitoring of Framework Programme 6;
improving the networking, benchmarking, evaluation and monitoring of national RTD policies;
Commission communications on "More Research for Europe: Towards 3 per cent. of GDP" and "The Role of the Universities in the Europe of Knowledge";
Commission Science and Society Action Plan;
European Research Area (ERA) strategy;
developing European foresight activities to strengthen the strategic basis of ERA;
regional dimension of research policy;
Commission Mobility Action Plan;
European Union Research Advisory Board (EURAB); and
Annual Report on the EU research activities for 2001.

As noted in my reply of 14 July 2002 to the hon. Member's earlier question, Official Report, columns 326–27W, CREST is a standing advisory committee to the Council and the Commission, with records of meetings and opinions forwarded to the Commission and the Council, and publicly available at: http:// register.consilium.eu.int

As my reply of 14 July 2002 noted, the Commission publishes an annual report on the working of committees. The latest of these reports, covering 2001, was submitted to the Scrutiny Committees of both Houses by FCO on 22 January 2003 (EM 5060/03-COM(02)733).

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 committee for the development of the internal market in postal services and the improvement of the quality of service, (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. [110311]

Officials from the DTI and the Postal Services Commission attend the committee, which has met once since January 2002, on 29 November 2002. The meeting considered a range of technical issues relating to postal service quality standards, and delivered positive opinions on EU proposals for European Committee for Standardisation standards, but took no substantive decisions.The EU Commission has undertaken to publish an annual report on the working of committees. The first report was deposited in the Libraries of both Houses in February 2002, and the latest on 10 January 2003 (Com [2002] 733). The UK Government have encouraged the Commission to produce and maintain an electronic database of every comitology committee, its agendas and recent actions, to be accessible through its website.