Dáil Éireann - Volume 610 - 15 November, 2005

Written Answers. - European Council Meetings.

  348. Mr. Quinn asked the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment the number of proposals that his Department is opposing at European Council at any state; the names of such proposals; the reason his Department is taking this position; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [33827/05]

  Mr. Martin: I assume that the Deputy is referring to the various council formations rather than the European Council, for which the Department of the Taoiseach has primary responsibility.

The council formations for which my Department has particular responsibilities are the Competitiveness Council and the Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs Council. My Department also has responsibilities to GAERC with regard to trade issues.

My Department always seeks to play a constructive role with regard to EU proposals and is anxious to ensure that Ireland’s interests are safeguarded while also being mindful of our responsibilities to the Union as a whole. Among the significant proposals currently being progressed at EU level, which come within the remit of the Competitiveness Council, are the 7th Framework Programme for RTD, REACH, Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme and the Services Directive. Current proposals relevant to ESPHCA include a Community Programme for Employment and Social Solidarity, PROGRESS and the Organisation of Working Time Directive.

These proposals are at various stages of negotiation and Ireland’s position is being represented in the appropriate groups. Ireland is not opposed to any one of these proposals. However, in the normal process of negotiation on these instruments we may seek amendments or identify provisions which could be improved on or take posi[286] tions on amendments sought by other member states or the Commission.