HL Deb 27 October 2003 vol 654 c2WA
Lord Lamont of Lerwick

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether the European Union Foreign Minister will be able to represent and speak for the European Union at the United Nations Security Council on those occasions where there is a common European Union position as proposed in the draft European Union Constitution Treaty. [HL4729]

Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean

Article III-206 of the draft Constitutional Treaty states "when the Union has defined a position on a subject which is on the United Nations Security Council agenda, those Member States which sit on the Security Council shall request that the Union Minister for Foreign Affairs be asked to present the Union's position". This allows for a continuation of the current practice, in line with the Security Council's Rules of Procedure, whereby the presidency can speak at open meetings of the Council. Under the new treaty, the European Foreign Minister, not the presidency, would represent the Union where non-members of the Council are permitted to speak and when the Union has defined a common position on the subject of the meeting. The UK, as a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council, would retain the right to speak in a national capacity.