Considerations on COM(2020)833 - EU position in the Joint Committee by Art. 164 of the Agreement on the withdrawal of the UK from the EU as regards Union presence

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table>(1)The Agreement on the withdrawal of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland from the European Union and the European Atomic Energy Community (‘the Withdrawal Agreement’) was concluded by the Union by means of Council Decision (EU) 2020/135 (1) on 30 January 2020 and entered into force on 1 February 2020.
(2)Article 166 of the Withdrawal Agreement empowers the Joint Committee established by Article 164 of the Withdrawal Agreement (‘the Joint Committee’) to adopt decisions in respect of all matters for which the Withdrawal Agreement so provides. The Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland (‘the Protocol’) forms an integral part of the Withdrawal Agreement.

(3)Article 12(2) of the Protocol establishes the right of the Union to be present during any activities of the United Kingdom related to the implementation and application of provisions of Union law made applicable by the Protocol as well as activities related to the implementation and application of Article 5 of the Protocol. It specifically provides for the right to request information from the authorities of the United Kingdom relating to such activities and to request those authorities to carry out control measures.

(4)Article 12(3) of the Protocol provides for a decision by the Joint Committee setting out the practical working arrangements relating to the exercise of the rights granted by the Protocol in this regard. Those working arrangements should ensure that Union representatives are able to exercise the rights laid down in Article 12(2) of the Protocol effectively.

(5)The presence of the Union provided for by the Protocol needs to take into account the unique circumstances on the island of Ireland, and rights of Union representatives should be exercised while giving due consideration to respect for foreign sovereignty as well as, in particular, to the Good Friday or Belfast Agreement of 10 April 1998.

(6)It is appropriate to establish the position to be taken on the Union's behalf in the Joint Committee,