HC Deb 15 November 2000 vol 356 c665W
Mr. Cash

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on the functions and treaty base of(a) the European Military Committee, (b) the European Military Staff and (c) the Political and Security Committee; and if he will make a statement on their relationship to NATO. [138216]

Mr. Hoon

At the Helsinki European Council in December 1999, EU member states agreed to the establishment of a Political and Security Committee (PSC), a Military Committee and a Military Staff within the European Council.

The function of the Political Security Committee is to deal with all aspects of the Common Foreign and Security Policy, including the Common European Security and Defence Policy, in accordance with the provisions of the EU Treaty. In the case of an EU-led crisis management operation, the PSC will exercise, under the authority of the Council, the political control and strategic direction of the operation. The PSC will also forward guidelines to the Military Committee.

The function of the Military Committee is to give military advice and make recommendations to the PSC and provide military direction to the Military Staff. The Chairman of the Military Committee will attend meetings of the Council when decisions with defence implications are to be taken.

The function of the Military Staff is to provide military expertise and support to the Common European Security and Defence Policy, including the conduct of EU-led operations. The Military Staff will perform early warning, situation assessment and strategic planning for Petersberg tasks.

Medical negligence claims and costs
1996–97 1997–98 1998–99 1999–2000
Number of medical negligence claims received 243 308 255 147
Number of medical negligence claims for which compensation was paid 58 58 112 79
Compensation paid (£) 2,766,821 3,545,060 9,816,803 9,688,420

Complaints procedures are available to service personnel and their families wishing to complain of medical negligence by military medical personnel. My Department aims to deal with any such complaints in a fair and timely manner.