We will deal first with proposals proposed for further scrutiny. COM (2006) 636 is a proposal on the banning of exports and the safe storage of metallic mercury. This proposal is part of an overall strategy to reduce mercury exposure. The measure seeks to achieve this in two ways, namely, by banning from 2011 exports of mercury from the EU and by ensuring safe storage of mercury in order to ensure that it does not re-enter the market. The Commission warns that mercury and its compounds are highly toxic to humans, ecosystems and wildlife even in relatively low doses and explains that while mercury is released into the environment naturally, for example, from volcanoes, it is also released through coal burning and use in products. While the Department indicates the proposal would have no implications for Ireland as there is no mercury industry here, it is possible it would have implications in relation to future development in certain sectors.
The proposal would appear to require close monitoring to determine if the adopted measure might negatively impact on potential mining opportunities and have waste management implications. Therefore, it is proposed to refer this proposal to the Joint Committee on Environment and Local Government for further scrutiny and to the Joint Committee on Enterprise and Small Business for information purposes. Is that agreed? Agreed.
There are no Title IV measures for this meeting. We will now deal with CFSP measures. CFSP (2006) 755 is a common position concerning the temporary reception by member states of the European Union of certain Palestinians. This measure extends for a further 12 months the provisions concerning the national permits of the Palestinians involved. Concerning the review date of the measure, I understand Ireland accepted two Palestinians following the end of the siege of the Church of the Nativity and the measure would apply to these also. It is proposed to note the measure. Is that agreed? Agreed.
CFSP (2006) 795 is a common position concerning restrictive measures against the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, DPRK. It expresses the gravest concern at the claim by the DPRK that it has conducted a test of a nuclear weapon and prohibits the trade in certain related equipment. Other aspects of the resolution concern the sale of luxury goods to the DPRK and restrictions on the entry of certain persons designated by the UN as being responsible for the above nuclear programme. The aim of the measure is to give effect within the European Union to the UN's resolution. It is proposed to note the measure. Is that agreed? Agreed.
CFSP (2006) 867 is a joint action extending and amending the mandate of the European monitoring mission. This joint action tasks the mission with a particular focus on Kosovo, Serbia and Montenegro and neighbouring regions that might be impacted upon by any adverse developments in Kosovo and Montenegro, and foresees the continuation of its work until 31 December 2007. As members will know, the Department's note indicates there are currently six personnel from the Defence Forces with the mission. It is proposed to note the measure. Is that agreed? Agreed.
There are no proposals proposed for deferral. We will now deal with proposals proposed for no further scrutiny. COM (2006) 686 is a White Paper on enhancing the Single Market framework for investment funds. The Commission envisages in the White Paper an incremental approach to the regulation of this market and foresees,inter alia, the following developments: the introduction of measures to strengthen supervisory co-operation and the facilitation of UCIT mergers across borders. The Department’s note also indicates that its consultation process on this matter has resulted in broad support being indicated by the sector but with some concern expressed in regard to the anticipated proposal in regard to cross-border management of funds. It is proposed that the White Paper be forwarded for information and consideration to the Joint Committee on Finance and Public Service and the Joint Committee on Enterprise and Small Business, particularly in regard to the area of concern within the sector. Is that agreed? Agreed.
COM (2006) 497 is a proposal on the submission of nominal catch statistics by member states fishing in the north-east Atlantic. This is another proposal arising from the Commission's initiative to simplify Community law. It seeks to codify a 1991 regulation and its subsequent amendments. The original regulation requires member states to provide to EUROSTAT, the statistical office of the European Communities, data on the annual nominal catches by vessels fishing in the north-east Atlantic. The statistics are required to assist in the management of the Community's fishing resources in the region.
The Commission and the Department have indicated that no changes of substance were made to the regulation. The Department also indicates that this codifying measure will provide improved clarity as to what is required by the regulation, as amended. It is proposed that this codifying regulation does not warrant further scrutiny. Is that agreed? Agreed.
Proposal No. 5.3, COM (2006) 511, is a proposal for a Council regulation amending regulations concerning drift nets. It seeks to amend three regulations on the conservation of fishery resources, all of which include provisions regulating the use of drift nets, to include a uniform definition of drift nets in all instances. The purpose of the proposal is to provide clarity, facilitate a common understanding and promote uniform monitoring and control of the use of drift nets between member states.
In its explanatory memorandum, the Commission confirms that this proposed establishment of a common definition does not expand on the restrictions and conditions on drift nets already provided for in Community law. It is proposed that this proposal does not warrant further scrutiny. It is proposed, however, to forward this proposal to the Joint Committee on Communications, Marine and Natural Resources as it may wish to keep itself informed of developments in this area. It is also proposed to formally request that the Department provide clarification on the points outlined above.