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". Madam President, Mrs Doyle and Mr Matsakis raised the problem of the legal basis and Commissioner Dimas, who I also want to thank warmly for his reply, also touched on this. The problem, when I was rapporteur, was indeed that the President of the Council came to see me and said: ‘We in the Council are unanimous in having serious problems with “trade” as the legal basis; we want to take advice from our Legal Service and make it “environment”’. Parliament consulted its own Legal Service, and our Legal Service was absolutely confident that the legal basis should not be ‘trade’ and that it had to be ‘environment’. On that basis we came to this conclusion then, almost unanimously, at least in the Council. It would actually have been better if we had not taken this problem to the Court of Justice, but had opened up negotiations with the Commissioner, with the President of the Council and with Parliament in order to find a political solution to this problem. What happened then? Yes, fortunately the regulation has come into force. It worked: the Council treated the matter as urgent, Parliament treated the matter as urgent. However, there was a great deal of discussion, and in the end that led to everyone being in the wrong: the Commission, the Council Parliament. The Court of Justice pronounced a kind of judgment of Solomon and said: dual legal basis, while the Council and Parliament had been assuming that you could not have that, that it was impossible. In a situation like that you end up in the position that we are all in the wrong, that it has cost years of delay, though fortunately not at the expense of the developing countries, as the work carried on anyway. In any event, we spent quite some time on this. I think that we should act together to prevent these problems in future. When Commissioner Dimas had his preliminary interview with the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety, we also raised this problem with him. We also raised the problem in the three hearings with Commissioner Verheugen and with the President of the Commission, Mr Barroso. We had the positive impression at the time that it was not so much a decision of the Commission to go to the Court of Justice but a decision of the Legal Service. I think that from now on it should be left not to the lawyers but to the politicians to resolve this problem."@en1

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