HL Deb 17 January 2005 vol 668 cc85-6WA
Lord Stoddart of Swindon

asked Her Majesty's Government:

How they announced that, at the Tampere Heads of Government Meeting in 1999, they agreed to the establishment of agencies of the European Union to administer and co-ordinate rules in respect of (a) police training and practices; (b) fishery protection; (c) human rights; and (d) aviation and railway operations; what reports have been published by these agencies; and whether there have been any parliamentary debates on those reports. [HL210]

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean)

My right honourable friend the then Lord Privy Seal (Baroness Jay of Paddington) announced the decision to set up a European Police College during her Statement to the House on the Tampere European Council on 19 October 1999 (Official Report, cols. 946–948). Other agencies were not covered in the Council's conclusions. A comprehensive list of the Council's conclusions were placed in the Library of the House.

  1. (a) The European Police Training College (CEPOL) was established by Council decision (2001820/JHA) in December 2000 to improve police co-operation, to identify and disseminate good practice, and to develop and deliver training to senior police officers involved in the fight against international and cross-border crime. CEPOL has produced annual progress reports for each of the years 2001, 2002 and 2003, which have been sent to the European Council. The 2002 annual report marking the first complete year of operation was sent to the European Scrutiny Committee. A three-year report was sent to the European Council in December 2003. The 2004 report will be published early next year and will be sent to the European Scrutiny Committee.
  2. (b) The Fisheries Protection Agency has not yet been established.
  3. (c) The Tampere 1999 conclusions cover the work of the body set up to draft the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights. This work is now complete so the body is no longer in existence. The conclusions also refer to the EU Monitoring Centre for Racism and Xenophobia (EUMC), in operation since 1998. A Commission communication of 25 October 2004 has asked for views on the extension of the EUMC to establish a human rights agency.
  4. (d) A proposal for a regulation establishing a European Railway Agency (COM(2002)23 Final) was published in January 2002. It was adopted on 29 April 2004 as Regulation (EC) No 881/2004. The first annual report of the agency is not due to be published before 30 April 2005. A proposal for a regulation establishing a European Aviation Safety Agency—(COM(2000) WA 86 595 Final) was published in the official journal in May 2001. It was adopted on 15 July 2002 as Regulation (EC) No. 1592/2002. The regulation requires the management board to adopt before 31 March each year a general report for the agency for the previous year and forward it to the European Parliament, Council, the Commission and member states. The report for 2003 was forwarded to the European Parliament, Council, Commission and member states in July 2004 and is available on the agency's website www.easa.eu.int/home/index.html.