European Parliament makes progress in Lloyd's case

The European Parliament has received the green light to take the Commission to court over its failure to answer questions about the Lloyd's of London case, Sir Robert Atkins MEP, deputy leader of the Conservatives in the European Parliament and delegation spokesman on the Parliament's petitions committee, said today.

The Parliament has adopted a committee resolution on the Lloyd's Names petitions. This called for the Commission to give an answer about the extent to which the First Non-Life Insurance Directive was correctly transposed, effectively implemented and applied by the UK authorities between 1978 and 2001.

Furthermore, it asked about the extent to which the Commission had fulfilled its own responsibilities under Article 211 of the EC Treaty. The aim of the directive is to regulate and ensure the proper functioning of the insurance sector, including such issues as solvency requirements.

Sir Robert said:

"The President of the Parliament can now instruct the committee on legal affairs to take legal proceedings against the Commission if it continues to fail to answer these questions."

"This request was originally made in September 2003 but no answer has been received and Lloyd's names are still enduring financial hardship, health and stress problems and even being bankrupted.

"This petition needs to be closed, and we can't do that until the Commission answers the questions properly. This would at least give a chance to those who have suffered at the hands of Lloyd?s in this sad affair the opportunity to be able to pursue their cases."

"In the last Parliament, Roy Perry MEP asked a Parliamentary Question and it was not answered. This time the Chairman of the petitions committee, on behalf of all its members, asked the same question and again there was no answer. This situation is untenable and wholly unacceptable.

"The issue is as much about the Commission responding properly to a legitimate Question from one of Parliament's committees as it is about the substantive issue of Lloyds. In the debate on the question in Parliament last week, I emphasised that point strongly."

For further information please contact Sir Robert Atkins on: +44 7770 254444 or +32 2 284 5373, ratkins@europarl.eu.int

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