Fifth meeting of the Council Working Party on Statistics under the Lithuanian Presidency
The 5th and the last meeting of the Council Working Party on Statistics under the Lithuanian Presidency took place in Brussels on Wednesday, 11 December 2013.
The 1st issue on the meeting agenda was the Proposal for a Regulation amending Regulation (EC) No 1166/2008 on farm structure surveys and the survey on agricultural production methods, as regards the financial framework for the period 2014–2018. Following the Commission's presentation of the file, examination of the proposal followed and was completed. The European Parliament is planning to run a simplified procedure. With this in view and since there was a clear majority in favour of approving the Commission proposal without significant changes, the Presidency has addressed the Coreper I on 18 December seeking approval to run a simplified procedure.
The 2nd issue was Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Regulation (EU) No 691/2011 on European environmental economic accounts. Analysis of the results of the EP ENVI Committee's vote and preparation for the first informal trilogue took place, acceptable EP Amendments have been agreed and Coreper I on 18 December was addressed for a mandate to negotiate with EP.
The afternoon session approached the 3nd issue – the Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Council Regulation (EC) No 638/2004 on Community statistics relating to trading of goods between Member States as regards conferring of delegated and implementing powers upon the Commission for the adoption of certain measures, the communication of information by the customs administration, the exchange of confidential data between Member States and the definition of statistical value (Intrastat). Presidency has finished examination based on presidency alternatives article-by-article and the outcome document on the agreed issues was due for circulation under the Lithuanian Presidency following consultations with the Council legal service.
Under the AOB, brief information on some other files handled by the Lithuanian Presidency was presented: 1. PRAC alignment (Omnibus I). An overview of Member States' positions expressed was presented in the Room document and the conclusion was drawn that the Chair of the CWPS will inform the Chair of the FoP Group on the state of play, asking taking out the package on statistical files from the Omnibus I, as case-by-case basis was preferred at 11 December CWPS meeting; 2. Regulation (EC) No 223/2009 on European statistics. During the period in-between the November and December CWPS, Presidency developed several proposals with the view to go to 11 December Coreper for a renewed mandate; however, with blocking minority still remaining and taking into account time limits possibility to agree at the Coreper under Lithuanian Presidency is unrealistic. Therefore, further steps in approaching this file are not foreseen under the Lithuanian Presidency; 3. The Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Regulation (EU) No 99/2013 on the European statistical programme 2013-2017. On 10 December 2013 the EP adopted its position at first reading on the Commission proposal. This position is expected to reflect the compromise agreement reached between the three institutions and should, therefore, be acceptable to the Council. The adoption of the Regulation was entered as an "I" item for Coreper on 11 December 2013 and as an "A" item for the Council on 16 December 2013; 4. The Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on the provision and quality of statistics for the macroeconomic imbalances procedure. The Presidency has been waiting for the additional suggestions on the scope or new modified draft from the Commission by mid-December, as was agreed at the 8 November 2013 CWPS, to develop it into a new joint Presidency proposal and joint consultations with Member States to continue examination of the dossier. However, the Commission has not provided any inputs for the LT Presidency to proceed with examination of the file, so we expect the care will be taken by the next Presidency; 5. The Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Council Regulation (EC) No 577/98 on the organisation of a labour force sample survey in the Community. The 1st informal trilogue meeting took place on 27 November. The provisional agreement was reached on the majority of EP amendments. However, no agreement could be reached on the issue of delegated acts / implementing acts in relation to the list of variables of ad hoc modules. The Presidency prepared 2 alternatives for the Article 7a para 1 and consulted the MS on their preferences as well as on the question if the "no opinion clause" in Art. 8 para 3 is to be kept. 23 MS replies were received. The prevailing priority is alternative 2 with the list of variables under the implementing acts procedure. However, the majority of MS were flexible on keeping the "no opinion clause" depending on the further evolution of negotiations. Member States were invited to submit their argumentation to strengthen the position of the Council at the trilogue. Depending on the trilogue results further steps will be taken accordingly; 6. The Proposal for a Regulation of the EP and of the Council amending Regulation (EC) No 471/2009 on Community statistics relating to external trade with non-member countries as regards conferring of delegated and implementing powers upon the Commission for the adoption of certain measures (Extrastat). The initial exchange of views took place at the November 8 CWPS meeting. The file to a certain extent is very similar to Intrastat; therefore, building on the outcome of examination of the Intrastat dossier and in view of EP INTA Committee position in its draft Report voted on 27 November, starting article-by-article discussions are within the reach of hand. 7. The ordinary legislative procedure on European statistics on demography regulation is completed. The regulation was signed on 20 November 2013 and is awaiting publication in the Official Journal.
The handover of the Lithuanian Presidency to the incoming Greek Presidency was scheduled for 18 December 2013 in Vilnius.
The progress on different legislative dossiers is published online (eu2013.stat.gov.lt)