HL Deb 18 May 1999 vol 601 cc22-3WA
Lord Stoddart of Swindon

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Further to the Written Answer by Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean on 28 April (WA 38), whether they will list the articles in the Treaty on European Union which came into force on 1 May 1999 which permit, without unanimity or common accord, actions by police forces, including actions by joint teams, and the progressive adoption by judicial authorities of minimal rules relating to certain categories of criminal acts and penalties related thereto. [HL2378]

Lord Williams of Mostyn

Article 34 of the Treaty on European Union (TEU), as amended by the Amsterdam Treaty, provides for all measures under Articles 30 to 32 of the TEU in the fields of police co-operation and judicial co-operation to be taken by unanimity, except for implementing measures relating to decisions or conventions which have themselves been established by unanimity. Provision for such implementing measures would need to be included in the parent instrument and would therefore be governed by unanimity. Authorisation for closer co-operation in the field of freedom, security and justice can also be agreed by a qualified majority of the member states under Article 40, subject to a procedure for referral to the European Council for a decision by unanimity where a member state declares that it opposes the closer co-operation for reasons of national policy. Measures resulting from closer co-operation apply only to those member states wishing to participate.

In addition, Article 42 of the TEU provides for the transfer of matters dealt with in Articles 30 to 32 to Title IV of the EC Treaty, following a unanimous decision by the Council; that decision can make provision about the voting conditions relating to matters so transferred.