Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Life still goes on

Heigh-ho, another list of European documents arrived the other day. Still yellow and still A5 but only 9 sides this time. Let us see what delights it has.

The first side lists 4 Volumes of the C Series of the Official Journal of the European Union (Information and Notices) and 4 volumes of the L Series (Legislation). Those publications continue to be useful to anyone who is really interested in how legislation is done throughout the European Union, including Britain, though this fact is a little hard to explain to people sometimes.

An item about Tenders and we come to the Working Documents. Most of these seem to be connected with the work (if that is the right word) of the European Parliament. The first one, however, is quite interesting:

A6 – 0052/2007 5th March 2007 – Report on the initiative by the Republic of Austria with a view to adopting a Council decision amending Decision 2002/348/JHA concerning security in connection with football matches with an international dimension.

Ah yes, something hovers around my consciousness about the Austrian Presidency wanting to sort out football hooliganism for the World Cup. Undoubtedly, this initiative will go on to emerge with various unenforceable Regulations.

We have three Reports on proposals, to wit:

A6 – 0055/2007 6th March 2007 – I Report on the proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on the civil liability and financial guarantees of shipowners.

A6 – 0062/2007 7th March 2007 – I Report on the proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council concerning structural business statistics

A6 – 0065/2007 13th March 2007 – Report on the proposal for a Council Decision on the Community participation in the capital increase of the European Investment Fund.

That last one, I suspect, is another way of throwing taxpayers’ money into something that should be done entirely by the private sector.

After this we get one Oral Question for Question Time during the European Parliament Plenary in March and lots and lots of Motions. Motion for a Resolution on EU restrictions on liquids that passengers can carry on aircraft; Motion for a Resolution on Euro-Mediterranean relations; Motion for a Resolution on a possible reform of EU trade policy instruments; Motion for a Resolution on non-proliferation and nuclear disarmament; and other suchlike goodies. All this takes up the time of various MEPs and I would not object to it particularly, as it keeps them off the streets. But we are paying for this rubbish. Each MEP costs us something in the region of £1 million a year. Are they really necessary?

As we have just had a plenary sitting of the European Parliament (well, something like three weeks before this document was published but that is “just” for the EP) there are several volumes of verbatim reports of the proceedings and Minutes of meetings as well as three lots of texts adopted during the sittings. Of course, most of the EP’s work (if that is the right word) goes on in committees so plenary sessions are of marginal importance.

Draft Legislation this time round consists of 25 items but someone are not really in the right section, though it is hard to tell where you would put

7550/07 EUROJUST Annual Report 2006?

I suspect it could be an interesting read, though.

Anyway, in no particular order, here are six examples of draft legislation, which will, probably, in the fullness of time lose the “draft” bit:

6313/1/07 REV 1. Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council laying down procedures relating to the application of certain national technical rules to products lawfully marketed in another Member State and repealing Decision 3052/95/EC.

7413/07. Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on quarterly statistics on Community job vacancies.

7525/07. Communication from the Commission – State of progress with the project to implement the new generation European air traffic management system (SESAR).

7615/07. Communication from the Commission to the Council in accordance with Article 19(1) of Council Directive 2003/96/EC (operation of private pleasure craft and private pleasure-flying).

Hmm. Shouldn’t all that private flying be banned to prevent greater global warming? Oh no, sorry, we wouldn’t get people flying around telling us to switch off our central heating and get all our energy from windmills.

7628/07. Proposal for a Council Regulation on the financial Regulation applicable to the Euratom Supply Agency.

7750/07. Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council concerning meat and livestock statistics.

All right, so it is all very dull. Of course, it is dull. And there is plenty more where that came from, also very dull. But it is these bits of dullness that have created the spider's web that has entangled this country to the point when even coming out of the European Union will be so fraught with difficulty as to be almost unmanageable.


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