HL Deb 28 April 1976 vol 370 c123

My Lords, a Statement has been made in another place today about business to be taken in the EEC Council of Ministers during May. I will, as usual, arrange for the Statement to be made available in the Official Report.

Following is the Statement referred to:

With your permission, Mr. Speaker, I will make a Statement about business to be taken in the Council of Ministers of the European Community during May. The monthly forecast for May was deposited yesterday. At present 4 meetings of the Council of Ministers are proposed for May. Foreign Ministers will meet on the 3rd and 4th of May and on the 31st of May and the 1st of June; Finance Ministers on the 17th and Agriculture Ministers on the 17th and the 18th of May. As part of the follow up to the European Council meeting on the 1st and the 2nd of April, Ministers at the Foreign Affairs Council are likely to resume consideration of the Tindemans Report and direct elections to the European Assembly. Passport Union is also likely to be discussed. Ministers will hope to conclude negotiations with Portugal and to discuss the resumption of negotiations with Spain. There will be preparations for an Association Council meeting with Cyprus and consideration of the negotiating mandate for Greek accession. Ministers are expected to consider the Community's external commitments, including the inclusion of financial chapters in the Mashraq agreements. Ministers are likely to consider the stage reached in the continuing dialogue between industrialised and developing countries. This will entail a review of the work to date of the four Commissions of the Conference on International Economic Co-operation, and consideration of the Community position for UNCTAD IV in Nairobi. Foreign Ministers will also consider the question of the siting of the JET experiment which is to be the centrepiece of the Community's 5 year Fusion Programme up to 1980. Ministers at the Finance Council are likely to have their usual discussion of the economic situation in the Community and may consider Commission proposals for reform of the budget unit of account. Agriculture Ministers are likely to consider amended arrangements for beef imports, the proposed Community sheepmeat regime, arrangements for New Zealand butter imports for 1978–80 and a number of proposed measures for improving agricultural structures. They may also discuss improvements in the market organisation for fish.