Economic and Monetary Union

Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs written question – answered on 20th February 2012.

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Photo of Emma Reynolds Emma Reynolds Shadow Minister (Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs)

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of the ability of the Government to initiate legal proceedings against other EU member states in (a) the European Court of Justice and (b) other courts if they exceed the remit of the fiscal compact treaty.

Photo of David Lidington David Lidington The Minister for Europe

Although political agreement was reached among the 25 EU member states who intend to participate in the proposed fiscal compact treaty, the treaty has yet to be signed and ratified by the member states concerned and therefore is not yet in force.

The Government consider that, once in force, the treaty or actions taken under it must not conflict with the EU treaties. This includes the use of the EU institutions. We have been clear that the treaty must not undermine the operation of the single market or otherwise infringe on areas of policy that are properly for discussion by all member states in the EU context, and we have reserved our position on the proposed treaty. If following the entry into force of the treaty the participating member states were to act in a manner prejudicial to the operation of the single market or the operation of the EU treaties, the Government would consider all possible avenues of action available.

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