Brussels, 04 Mar 2003
1. The Commission submitted the above proposal to the Council on 18 February 2002. This proposal is based on Article 175(1) of the Treaty.
2. The European Parliament, in accordance with the procedure in Article 251 of the Treaty, delivered its Opinion at first reading on 24 September 2002. The Economic and Social Committee adopted its Opinion on 17 July 2002. The Committee of the Regions adopted its Opinion on 16 May 2002.
3. The Council reached agreement on the Articles and the Annexes at its meeting on 17 October 2002 and requested the Permanent Representatives Committee to establish the preamble and forward the text to the legal/linguistic experts for finalisation.
4. This having been done, it is suggested that the Permanent Representatives Committee invite Council, as an "A" item on the agenda of a forthcoming meeting, to:
- adopt its common position as contained in 15546/02 ENV 762 MI 301 WTO 179 ONU 86 AGRI 312 CODEC 1644 OC 5 + COR 1 (fr,de,it,nl,en,da,el,pt,fi,sv),
- take note of the statement of the Council's reasons in 15546/02 ADD 1,
- enter in its minutes the statements as contained in ADD 1 REV 2 + ADD 1 REV 2 COR 1 to this Note.
The common position will be forwarded to the European Parliament as soon as possible, together with the statement of the Council's reasons.