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Eu Committees

Volume 409: debated on Friday 18 July 2003

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To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Department for Constitutional Affairs, if he will list (a) the names, titles and grades of the officials who sit on the EU committee on the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data, (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. [110312]

This is the committee of representatives of EU member states' Governments that is established by Article 31 of the EC Data Protection Directive (95/46/EC). The UK representation is provided by an official from my Department. Since January 2002, the committee has met six times: on 8 February 2002, 6 and 7 June 2002, 12 December 2002, 21 February 2003, 15 and 16 May 2003 and 11 July 2003. The committee makes no decisions. Its function is to assist the European Commission in the decisions that the Commission takes relating to the adequacy of data protection in countries outside the EU. Since January 2002 the committee has given favourable opinions on draft Commission decisions that Argentina and Guernsey provide adequate data protection. The committee has also had preliminary discussions of other matters that could lead to Commission decisions, such as the Commission's current discussions with the United States' authorities about the disclosure of airline passenger information. The Commission keeps the committee informed about a wide range of matters relating to data protection. These have included: the activities of the working party of data protection supervisory authorities set up under Article 29 of the Directive; the appointment of the European Data Protection Supervisor; and the Commission's first report on the implementation of the Directive.

To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Department for Constitutional Affairs how many officials in the Lord Chancellor's Department serve on EU committees or working parties. [116088]

Membership of EU Committees, Working Parties and Working Groups is not fixed, therefore, depending on the subject matter under consideration, the most appropriate policy officials attend meetings of EU Committees, Working Parties and Working Groups. Information on the overall number of policy officials who are required to attend EU Committees, Working Parties and Working Groups is not held.