Tuesday, 10 February 2004

Ceisteanna (42, 43, 44)

Dan Boyle

Ceist:

115 Mr. Boyle asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment if the agenda, specific papers and reports being presented to the Agenda 133 meetings which are to be held under the Irish Presidency will be available to the public or to Members of the Houses of the Oireachtas; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [3813/04]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Ciarán Cuffe

Ceist:

116 Mr. Cuffe asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment the access which will be available for the public or Members of the Houses of the Oireachtas to the Agenda 133 meetings which are to be held under the Irish Presidency; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [3815/04]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Eamon Ryan

Ceist:

165 Mr. Eamon Ryan asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment the information which will be publicly available from the Agenda 133 meetings which are to be held under the Irish Presidency; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [3811/04]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Minister for Enterprise)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 115, 116 and 165 together.

The agendas of all 133 meetings convened so far under the Irish Presidency are published on the website dedicated to the Irish Presidency. The agendas are added to the website immediately following the convocation of the individual 133 meetings and therefore in advance of each meeting. This advance notification will continue to be a feature of the publication of 133 agendas in the period to the end of the Irish Presidency.

Documents and reports presented to and circulated for discussion at 133 committee meetings are internal negotiating documents in the context of international multilateral trade talks and, as such, are restricted to members of the committee. In accordance with EU treaty provisions, trade policy is a Community competence. This means that the European Commission initiates proposals, which are submitted to the 133 consultative committee, as, designated by the treaty, prior to their submission for approval by Council.

Hence, documents circulated for discussion at the 133 committees contain information communicated in confidence to officials within an international institution representative of all EU member states.

Article 133 committee meetings in common with all other Council formations are confined to member state Government representatives. The 133 committee is a committee established under the treaty and, accordingly, is a body in which only member states, Council and Commission may participate. Attendance by representatives of any other bodies does not arise.