§ Mr. Austin Mitchell
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will list the increases in the powers of the European Parliament embodied in the treaty of European unity signed at Maastricht and specify the consequential restrictions on the powers of(a) the Commission, (b) the Council of Ministers and (c) national parliaments.
§ Mr. Douglas Hogg
The treaty on European union increases the role of the European Parliament in a range of ways, both legislative and non-legislative. In some cases these are new. In others, they are extensions of existing procedures to new articles.
All of these provisions are clearly set out in the treaty on European union. Together they represent no basic change in the existing institutional structure. The Parliament will have greater powers to scrutinise the Commission, but the Council of Ministers will remain the ultimate decision-making body in the Community and its members will remain accountable to their national parliaments.