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EU: Scrutiny Override

Volume 718: debated on Wednesday 7 April 2010

Question

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government further to the Written Answer by Baroness Kinnock of Holyhead on 8 December 2009 (WA 110), why the scrutiny reserve resolution was overridden on the proposed Council Decision approving the appointment of Vygaudas Usackas as the European Union Special Representative to Afghanistan; and what steps they are taking to avoid a repeat of those circumstances. [HL3185]

The role of the European Union Special Representative (EUSR) for Afghanistan is important in focusing the EU effort, ensuring that it dovetails with the work of other bilateral and multilateral partners. The Government continue to believe in the importance of our work in Afghanistan and in the benefits of continued international co-ordination.

I deeply regret that, on this occasion, my honourable friend, Chris Bryant, had to agree to the Council decision approving the appointment of Vygaudas Usackas as the EUSR to Afghanistan before it had cleared the Scrutiny Committee. The failure to allow the committee to fully scrutinise this decision came about due to an administrative oversight. Chris Bryant has spoken to those responsible to ensure this will not happen again.