A Citizens' Agenda

Part of Orders of the Day – in the House of Commons at 2:27 pm on 26 October 2006.

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Photo of Geoff Hoon Geoff Hoon Minister of State (Europe), Foreign & Commonwealth Office 2:27, 26 October 2006

I beg to move,

That this House
takes note of European Union Document No. 9390/06, Commission Communication: A Citizens' Agenda—Delivering Results for Europe: and supports the Government's view that it welcomes the principles behind 'A Citizens' Agenda' and the Commission's commitment to taking forward the Hampton Court agenda of delivering concrete results and benefits to EU citizens.

I should like to introduce this debate on the European Commission communication, but before I do so, I thank the European Scrutiny Committee for providing the Government with such an excellent opportunity to elaborate our position on the Commission paper and the other documents tagged to this debate. I also congratulate my hon. Friend Michael Connarty on his election to the Chair of the European Scrutiny Committee. I know from previous Committee sittings that he is an extremely effective and knowledgeable member of the Committee, and I wish him well in his new role.

As I underlined during the European Standing Committee debate on "Plan D for Democracy, Dialogue and Debate" in May, the Government attach great importance to communicating with Parliament and the citizens whom we serve on European issues. Hon. Members on both sides of the House will no doubt recognise that we all have a role in promoting awareness and engaging the wider public in the discussion of such issues. In the case of policies linked to the European Union, dispelling the plethora of myths and misconceptions, which are unfortunately too prominent in our public debate, is a particular challenge.