Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees
Tuesday, 13 May 2014
Joint Oireachtas Committee on Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation
Scrutiny of EU Legislative Proposals
There are four Schedule A proposals for decision. COM (2014) 186 is a proposal for a regulation on personal protective equipment. The proposal will replace existing law and align it with the new legislative framework. The Department is in favour of the proposal which will assist operators and ensure consistency in standards for products across the European Union. It is proposed that the proposal does not warrant further scrutiny. Is that agreed? Agreed.
COM (2014) 212 is a proposal for a directive on single member private limited liability companies. The proposal will replace existing EU legislation. It seeks to address problems that European SMEs face in accessing the Single Market by making it easier and less costly for them to establish subsidiaries in other member states by adopting a common template for rules across the European Union to be adopted within a member state's national law.
COM (2014) 213 is connected with COM (2014) 212. It is a proposal for a directive amending existing law in the encouragement of long-term shareholder engagement and certain elements of the corporate governance statement. It will amend the shareholders rights directive and aims to enhance corporate governance in listed European companies with new transparency obligations and by increasing shareholder engagement in governance issues.
The Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation welcomes the intention of these proposals and has no objections on the grounds of subsidiarity. As it has yet to form definitive views on the proposals and will engage in public consultation to inform its negotiating position, it is proposed that they warrant further scrutiny by the committee. Is that agreed? Agreed.
COM (2014) 221 is a proposal to establish a European platform to enhance co-operation in the prevention and deterrence of undeclared work. The draft decision will provide a formal mechanism at EU level to strengthen cross-border co-operation on undeclared work. The proposed EU platform has the objectives of improving co-operation, strengthening technical capacity and encouraging member states to address the issue of undeclared work. It is agreed that the proposal warrants further scrutiny. Is that agreed?
Yes. I wish to speak to the proposal which I believe infringes on the area of subsidiarity. It could allow the European Union to stray into areas such as social welfare and taxation which are competencies we need to maintain here. The issue of undeclared work is very important. However, it is probably best dealt with on a national basis, unless there are data and evidence that show there is a transnational element to it. Without that information which we do not yet have, we should engage in further scrutiny. Perhaps we might invite the Department in to explain its position.