§ Mrs. Ellman
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what steps he is taking to select English candidates for appointment to the next term of the European Union Committee of the Regions; and if he will make a statement. 
§ Mr. Raynsford
Members of the Committee of the Regions (CoR) are appointed by the European Council on the basis of proposals made by member states. We have invited comments from the Local Government Association and from regional interests on a proposed procedure for selecting persons to be proposed to the European Council this autumn as English members of the UK delegation to the Committee of the Regions.
The proposals are designed to give regional bodies— Regional Chambers and the Greater London Authority— a formal link with the Committee of the Regions, while maintaining a coherent group representation for England as a whole. These proposals reflect our intention to make an order under the Greater London Authority Act 1999, to amend the European Communities (Amendment) Act 1993, so as to extend eligibility for CoR membership to members of the Greater London Authority, including the Mayor.
A copy of a paper setting out the proposed selection procedure has been placed in the Library of the House.