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Eu Committees

Volume 405: debated on Thursday 22 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 on employment, (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. [110305]

I have been asked to reply.The delegation is made up of the Director of the Joint International Unit, the Divisional Manager of the European Union Division and the Leader of the Employment Policy team.The Employment Committee (EMCO) has met 10 times since January 2002.The Employment Committee does not take decisions as such. Rather it considers issues and produces Opinions which reflect the views of the member states. These are then submitted to the Council of Ministers where decisions are made. The documents on which decisions are taken in the Council of Ministers are subject to the normal scrutiny procedures.Dates of the meetings, the agenda items and a summary of the Opinions are as follows:

2002:

7 and 8 February informal meeting, Spain. Two opinions were adopted (on the Commission's synthesis report and on the Action Plan on Skills and Mobility); both were submitted to the Council.

The agenda:
Joint Council and Commission report on increasing participation and promoting active ageing—EMCO Opinion
The Commission Communication on 'The Lisbon Strategy—Making Change Happen' (the Commission's synthesis report)—EMCO Opinion
The report of the High Level Task Force on Skills and Mobility, the Commission Action Plan on Skills and Mobility, and the Commission Communication on Making a European Area of Lifelong Learning a Reality—EMCO Opinion
Employment Strategy: debating the future (following the informal Ministerial meeting in Burgos)
National Action Plan (NAP) structure 2002 and the use of quality in work indicators
Work Programme 2002

7 May. One opinion on the Broad Economic Policy Guidelines (BEPGs) 2002 which was submitted to the Council.

  • The agenda:
  • BEPGs 2002—EMCO Opinion
  • Peer Review programme 2002–03
  • Strengthening the local dimension of the Employment Strategy

6 June. No opinions were adopted at this meeting.

  • The agenda:
  • Impact evaluation of the Employment Strategy
  • Report on the Ad Hoc Group's examination of the NAPs 2002
  • Report on indicators for the Joint Employment Report (JER) 2002
  • Study on the potential of Community policies for employment promotion
  • Election of two vice-Chairpersons

18 and 19 July informal meeting in Denmark. The Committee adopted a report on indicators to be used in the JER 2002.

  • The agenda:
  • Impact evaluation of the Employment Strategy
  • Employment in Europe 2002
  • Employment and the Structural Funds (to be confirmed)
  • Commission paper on human capital, growth and employment (to be confirmed)

20 September. One opinion and one contribution to the Commission were adopted (the final outcome was a joint opinion with the Economic Policy Committee (EPC) on the future direction of the European Employment Strategy (EES), which was submitted to the Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs (ESPHCA)/Economic and Financial (ECOFIN) Council, and a letter from the Chair to the Commissioners Monti and Diamantopoulou on the competition policies).

  • The agenda:
  • Evaluation of the EES
  • Draft Commission document (Part 1) to the Joint Employment Report 2002
  • State aids and employment
  • Report from The High level Group on Industrial Relations and Change in the European Union and the Commission Communication "Social dialogue, a force for innovation and change"

24 October. No opinion as the meeting was cancelled.

  • The agenda:
  • Commission assessment report on employment challenges for the candidate countries
  • Other issues to be decided

21 and 22 November. Two opinions (the final outcome was a joint EMCO/EPC/SPC position on structural indicators and a draft for Council conclusions on streamlining prepared jointly by the EMCO/EPC/SPC—both of these were submitted to the ESPHCA/ECOFIN Council).

  • Employment Guidelines 2003
  • Joint Employment Report 2002
  • Employment recommendations to member states
  • Contribution to the preparation of the BEPGs 2003—EMCO contribution
  • Structural indicators—EMCO Opinion
  • Report from the Indicators Group on the follow up on quality in work indicators
  • Work Programme 2003

2003:

28 January. No opinions were adopted at this meeting.

  • The agenda:
  • Commission Communication 'The future of the European Employment Strategy'
  • Commission Communication 'Choosing to grow: Knowledge, innovation and jobs in a cohesive society' (Commission's report to the Spring Summit)
  • Finalisation of the draft Joint Employment Report 2002
  • Discussion on the revision of the EMCO rules of procedure
  • Work programme 2003

20 and 21 February informal meeting, Greece. One contribution (EMCO proposal for key messages from the Council (EPSCO) on the future of the EES).

Finalisation of the EMCO contribution to the preparation of the Spring Summit (following the informal Ministerial meeting in Nafplion on 24 January) on the basis of the Commission Communication 'The future of the European Employment Strategy', the Commission Communication 'Choosing to grow: Knowledge, innovation and jobs in a cohesive society' and the draft Joint Employment Report 2002
Debate on the format and coverage of the annual National Action Plans for employment (NAPs)
Election of a new Chairperson

23 April. No opinions were adopted.

The Commission's Guidelines Package (including proposals for the Employment Guidelines 2003, employment recommendations to member states and the Broad Economic Policy Guidelines 2003)—first discussion
Debate on the issue of 'making work pay'
Report from the Ad Hoc Group on the future role of the Group (possibly including the adoption of the revised terms of reference for the Group).