Committee Reports::Annual Report - Work of the Joint Committee on European Affairs 1999::31 December, 2000::Report

1. Introduction

The Joint Committee on European Affairs which was established by Order of Dáil Éireann of 13th November, 1997 and Order of Seanad Éireann of 19th November, 1997 is required under paragraphs 3, 4, 5 and 6 of Standing Order 79A, Dáil Éireann and paragraphs 3, 4, 5 and 6 of Standing Order 63, Seanad Éireann to make an annual report to both Houses of the Oireachtas. This report outlines:

work carried out by the Committee

work in progress by the Committee

attendance and voting records at meetings of the Committee

its future work programme

such other matters as the Committee deems appropriate.

The Orders of Reference are set out at Appendix 1.

2. Chairman, Vice-Chairman, Convenors and Membership

Deputy Bernard J. Durkan was elected as Chairman of the Joint Committee on 10 December, 1997. Deputy Séamus Kirk was elected as Vice-Chairman of the Joint Committee on 10 December, 1997. The Chairman of the Joint Committee is also Chairman of the Dáil Select Committee.

Deputies Pat Carey and Jack Wall are the Convenors of the Committee whose function it is to ensure the availability and attendance of Members or their substitutes for meetings of the Committee and, in particular, to ensure Members’ availability for divisions. The Committee welcomed the membership of Deputy Jim O’Keeffe with effect from 29 June 2000 to replace Deputy Gay Mitchell.

The Members of the Joint Committee are set out at Appendix 2.

3. Meetings, Attendance and Recording

Meetings of the Joint Committee took place in the Committee rooms in Kildare House or in the Dail Chamber. Meetings were in public unless otherwise ordered by the Joint Committee.

Televised coverage of public meetings of the Joint Committee was broadcast live within the Leinster House complex and was available for subsequent public broadcasting by R.T.É. and other T.V./Radio service.

Copies of reports published by the Joint Committee may be obtained from the Clerk, Joint Committee on European Affairs, Kildare House, Kildare Street, Dublin 2. A list of these reports are set out at Section 5.

4. Number and Duration of Meetings

The Joint Committee met on 31 occasions in the year under report, two of these in session with the Joint Committee on Foreign Affairs. The number of hours discussion involved in these meetings was in excess of 48 hours. The date and subject matter of each meeting is set out at Appendix 3.

Records of attendance by Members of the Joint Committee and their duly nominated substitutes at meetings of the Joint Committee are set out at Appendix 4.

Minutes of proceedings of the Joint Committee meetings in public session are attached at Appendix 6.

The Joint Committee welcomes the participation of members of the European Parliament at a number of meetings during the year.

A list of conferences and meetings which the Joint Committee was represented is given at Appendix 5.

5. Joint Committee Reports

During the year under report the Joint Committee published the following reports:

Annual Report 1999

Work Programme 1999

Review of EU Legislation

Second Report on EMU

Second Report on EU Institutional Reform - in the context of enlargement

6. Work in Progress

The Joint Committee has the following work in progress at present:

WTO Negotiations

“Unbundling the Local Loop” (Telecoms)

EU Enlargement

European aspects of the drug problem

EU Directive on the conservation of natural habitats and of wild flora and fauna, (special conservation areas).

The 2001 Draft Work Programme is attached at Appendix 7.