HC Deb 13 January 1998 vol 304 c188W
27. Mr. David Davis

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what are the Government's plans for Britain's presidency of the European Union in respect of reform of EU institutions. [20439]

Mr. Robin Cook

During the course of the UK Presidency, we are determined to make as much progress as possible towards the next enlargement of the European Union. One element of this will be discussing with other Member States how and when to proceed with Protocol No. 11 to the Treaty of Amsterdam concerning institutional reform in the context of enlargement. We fully support the principle of a smaller Commission and the reweighing of votes in the Council that this Protocol provides for.

Preparation for other measures envisaged by the Treaty of Amsterdam—for example, improving the quality of European legislation and ensuring greater openness in the Union—will continue during the UK Presidency. So will a series of continuing reforms to improve the operational efficiency of the institutions, such as SEM 2000 to improve financial management in the Commission and MAP 2000 to modernise the European civil service.

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