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Council Of Ministers

Volume 407: debated on Tuesday 24 June 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many times the UK has exercised its veto in the EU Council of Ministers in each year since 1997. [121102]

Neither the EU's Council Secretariat nor Her Majesty's Government keeps records of legislative proposals which are blocked by member states under unanimity. Our policy is to shape the EU's agenda and legislation in line with UK interests from the outset, rather than to block it at a later stage.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many decisions in the EU Council of Ministers have been taken by qualified majority voting in the past two years; and in how many cases the UK was in a minority.[121161]

Voting information from May 2003 onward has not yet been published. From May 2001 to April 2003, the Council took 265 decisions by qualified majority voting. The UK was in a minority on three of these and abstained on eight. This information is displayed on the Council Secretariat website at http:// register.consilium.eu.int/iso- register/frames/introacfsEN.htm