|Dutch Foreign Minister Reassures Assembly on Its Future Role |
Dutch Foreign Minister Reassures Assembly on Its Future Role
Paris, 19 June 2001 (WEU) Â– Jozias van Aartsen, Dutch Foreign Affairs Minister, Tuesday assured the WEU Assembly -Â ESDA - that it would continue to have a role to play after the transfer ofÂ the WEU to the European Union (EU).
Â He said that "neither your Assembly nor the European Parliament can claim exclusive rights with regard to the parliamentary dimension in the Second Pillar". "New formulas have to be developed to find the proper balance between the obvious mandate of national parliaments in this field and the prerogatives of the European Parliament, while ensuring that the inclusiveness and the working methods which are the hallmarks of your Assembly are not lost in the process," he added. Â
The question of how to increase democratic control of the EU "will remain high on our agenda in the coming years," Mr. Van Aartsen said. The Netherlands and other EU countries have indicated that discussions on the parliamentary dimension of the Second Pillar should be "part of a broader menu of institutional reform." Â
He noted that the transfer of the WEU to the EU is not yet complete, although much progress may be achieved during the Swedish presidency in the second half of this year. This is because of problems over the position of third countries and "over institutional questions." Â