Foreign and European Affairs Committee
Hon. Luciano Busuttil
Latest Video - Meeting No. 56 - 08.11.16
Extract from the Standing Orders
120F. (1) The Standing Committee on Foreign and European Affairs shall consist of not more than nine members of whom five shall constitute a quorum. The members shall be chosen so as fairly to represent the House in general and the proportion of Government and Opposition members in particular:Provided that the Government members appointed on the Standing Committee shall include the Minister for Foreign Affairs who shall have the right to participate and to vote:Provided further that members of the European Parliament elected from Malta shall have the right to participate in the work of the Standing Committee but shall not have the right to vote or to move motions and amendments.
(2) The Chairperson of the Committee shall be nominated by the Leader of the House from amongst the members representing the Government side, provided that any member of the Committee may, at any time, be appointed by the Leader of the House to act as Chairperson in case of the unavoidable absence of the Chairperson.
(3) The Standing Committee shall have the power to appoint select sub-committees and to delegate any of its functions to such sub-committees. Provided that the composition of any sub-committee appointed by the Standing Committee shall be determined by the Standing Committee so as fairly to represent the House in general and the proportion of Government and Opposition members in particular.
(4) Subject to what is stated in this Standing Order, the provisions of paragraphs (3) and (4) of Standing Order 120B shall mutatis mutandis apply to the Standing Committee on Foreign and European Affairs.
(5) The Standing Committee on Foreign and European Affairs shall have the following functions:
(i) to deal with matters relating to foreign and European Union affairs which may be referred to it by the House or by the Standing Committee on House Business.
(ii) in the context of European Union issues and measures to be taken by the Council of Ministers of the European Union, to scrutinise on its own initiative-
(a) any proposals under the Community treaties for legislation by the Council or the Council acting jointly with the European Parliament;
(b) any document which is published for submission to the European Council, the Council or the European Central Bank;
(c) any proposal for a common strategy, a joint action or a common position under Title V of the Treaty on European Union which is prepared for submission to the Council or to the European Council;
(d) any proposal for a common position, framework, decision or a convention under Title VI of the Treaty on European Union which is prepared for submission to the Council;
(e) any document (not falling within (b), (c) or (d) above) which is published by one Union institution and which does not relate exclusively to the consideration of any proposal for legislation; and (f) any other document relating to European Union matters placed on the Table of the House by any Minister; and
(iii) to represent the House of Representatives of Malta at the Conference of European Affairs Committees (COSAC)."
In terms of Section 5(i) of Standing Order 120F above, the Foreign and European Affairs Committee is tasked with the scrutiny, on its own initiative, of legislative proposals and non-legislative communications originating from the European Institutions. The basis used for scrutiny is the Government's position on the dossier, which is contained in the relevant Explanatory Memorandum.In order to carry out the task of EU scrutiny, a number of Working Groups are set up within the remit of the Foreign and European Affairs Committee.
Working Group 1
The function of this Working Group is mainly that of filtering in preliminary scrutiny, that is, to determine whether the documents can be cleared without reserve or whether they need to be referred for further scrutiny and debate in one of the other Working Groups.
Working Group 1 is composed as follows:
Working Group 2
Working Group 2 is tasked with the scrutiny of documents referred to it by Working Group 1 on issues relating to economic and monetary affairs, taxation, transport and energy, budget, internal market and customs union.
Working Group 2 is composed as follows:
Working Group 3
Similarly to Working Group 2, Working Group 3 is tasked with the scrutiny of documents referred to it by Working Group 1 on issues relating to health, development and humanitarian aid, rural development, agriculture and fisheries, and justice and home affairs.
Working Group 3 is composed as follows:
Working Group 4
Similarly to Working Groups 2 and 3, Working Group 4 is tasked with the scrutiny of documents referred to it by Working Group 1 on issues relating to research, employment, education and culture, consumer protection, environment, and regional policy.
Working Group 4 is composed as follows:
Furthermore, issues relating to social affairs are referred to the Standing Committee on Social Affairs, which in this case would be required to act as one of the above Working Groups.