Parliament's Conference of Presidents today backed the strategy of the Civil Liberties Committee of continuing negotiations with the Council and Commission on the proposed new EU legislation on the retention of communications data by Member States as part of the fight against terrorism.
The political group leaders agreed that MEPs should do their best to reach agreement on the content of the directive during the UK presidency. They stressed the importance of extending codecision powers to the field of security and justice.
At a meeting with MEPs on 13 October, UK Home Secretary Charles Clarke spoke in favour of using codecision in this field and confirmed his personal wish to be flexible in order to achieve an agreement with the Parliament before the end of December. However the Council concluded at its last meeting that both legislative options will remain on the table.
Two competing texts are currently on the table: a framework decision proposed by France, Ireland, the UK and Sweden over which Parliament cannot exercise proper scrutiny and a draft directive by the European Commission on which the EP could act in codecision with the Council.
20.10.2005 - Conference of Presidents