Dáil Éireann - Volume 526 - 22 November, 2000

Written Answers. - Amsterdam Treaty.

187. Mr. Gormley asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment her Department's approach to proposals to amend Article 133 of the Amsterdam Treaty in the upcoming Treaty of Nice, which will have the effect of removing the veto from member states and give more power to the European Commission in such areas as investment and intellectual property rights. [27018/00]

Minister of State at the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment (Mr. T. Kitt): There are proposals under consideration in the context of the Intergovernmental Conference for the amendment of article 133 of the Treaty establishing the European Community. Article 133 governs the operation of the European Union common commercial policy. The aim of these proposals is to enhance the EU's ability to partici[1006] pate effectively in bilateral and multilateral discussions and negotiations on international trade issues, particularly in the context of future enlargement of the EU. My Department's approach to the proposals is to ensure that the Department of Foreign Affairs, which has the lead role in these matters and is co-ordinating the Irish negotiation position, is fully aware of the technical and policy issues relating to my Department's remit.

The nature of any amendment or whether amendment is necessary or appropriate has not yet been decided.