HC Deb 13 December 1999 vol 341 c59W
Mr. Bercow

To ask the Prime Minister for what reason the mandate of the forthcoming intergovernmental conference was set at consideration of the voting mechanics of the European Council and size of the Commission; if policy areas may also be negotiated; which policy areas he called for negotiations to cover; and if he will make a statement. [101023]

The Prime Minister

The Cologne European Council agreed that next year's IGC should deal with the institutional reforms necessary for the next enlargement of the Union. The Government welcome this. Enlargement is not just about the applicant countries preparing for accession, but also about the EU preparing to receive them.

As for specifying agenda items, Cologne agreed that the IGC should focus on three key issues: the size and composition of the Commission, the reweighting of votes in the Council and a possible extension of QMV. Some related items may be added to the agenda, but these too should focus on institutional, not policy, issues.