§ Angus Robertson
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether a Scottish Executive Minister will be a member of the UK delegation to the Justice and Home Affairs European Union Council of Ministers meeting on 28 February; and what information is being provided by his Department to permit pre-council scrutiny by the European Committee of the Scottish Parliament. [
§ Angela Eagle
Arrangements for co-ordination of European Union policy issues between Scottish Executive Ministers and the United Kingdom (UK) Government are set out in the Corcordat on coordination of European Union Policy issues, which supplements the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the devolved administrations and the UK Government. The Concordat states that decisions on Ministerial attendance at Council meetings will be taken on a case-by-case basis by the lead UK Minister, which in the case of the Justice and Home Affairs Council is my right hon. Friend the Home Secretary.
Scottish Executive Ministers participate in the Justice and Home Affairs Council from time to time, when issues of particular interest to Scotland are on the agenda. They are not expected to attend on 28 February 2002. The Home Office is in frequent contact with the Scottish Executive Justice Department on European issues.
With regard to pre-Council scrutiny of European Union proposals, Explanatory Memoranda are circulated to the European Committee of the Scottish Parliament at the same time as they are deposited in the UK Parliament.