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Advisory Committee Mandates

Treasury written question – answered on 13th May 2002.

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Photo of John Bercow John Bercow Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the mandate of the Economic Policy Committee: Working Party and Reduced Compositions is; how many times it has met over the last 12 months; what the UK representation on it is; what the annual cost of its work is to public funds; if he will list the items currently under its consideration; if he will take steps to increase its accountability and transparency to Parliament; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Ruth Kelly Ruth Kelly Economic Secretary, HM Treasury

The responsibilities of the Economic Policy Committee are set out in articles 272 and 209 of the EC treaty, and in its statute as adopted in European Council decision 2000/604 of 29 September 2000. Article 1.2 of the statute requests this committee to "contribute to the preparation of the work of the Council by providing economic analyses, opinions on methodologies and draft formulations for policy recommendations, particularly on structural policies for improving growth potential and employment in the Community".

The Economic Policy Committee met 11 times over the 12 months from the beginning of May 2001, and the UK representation consists of three officials from HM Treasury and one from the Bank of England. In addition there are eight working groups dealing with specific topics, which met up to six times over the last 12 months.

To disaggregate the costs of the Economic Policy Committee from the UK's total contribution to the EU budget would involve disproportionate costs.

The reports of work under consideration by the Economic Policy Committee are available on the committee's website. Any reports that are subsequently considered by the ECOFIN Council are subject to normal parliamentary scrutiny.

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