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Europol Convention And Protocols

Volume 589: debated on Monday 11 May 1998

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asked Her Majesty's Government:Which conventions or protocols relating to Europol have (a) been agreed; (b) are in force; and (c) have been proposed by the European Commission; and in respect of each, what have been, or are expected to be, the parliamentary procedures used for their ratification, together with the relevant dates; and what relevant reports or proceedings relating thereto have been published and made available to the public. [HL1669]

The Europol Convention has been agreed, as have two related protocols: one on the interpretation of the convention, by way of preliminary rulings, by the European Court of Justice; and one of the privileges and immunities of Europol, its organs and staff. None of these instruments is yet in force as they first need to be ratified by all member states of the European Union, some of which have not yet quite completed the necessary parliamentary procedures.These instruments have been proposed by successive presidencies of the European Union, not by the Commission which, under the Maastricht Treaty, has no right of initiative in respect of justice and home affairs matters. The parliamentary procedure for ratification of the Europol Convention and both related protocols required draft Orders in Council to be approved by each House of Parliament. Such orders are subject to affirmative resolution. The orders relating to the Europol Convention and the Protocol on Preliminary Rulings by the European Court of Justice were considered in another place on 3 December 1996 by a Standing Committee on Delegated Legislation, and on the Floor of this House on 9 December 1996. The order relating to the protocol on privileges and immunities was debated in another place by a Standing Committee on Delegated Legislation on 4 December 1997 and on the Floor of this House on 15 December 1997. Records of all the above proceedings were published in the

Official Report.