HL Deb 24 May 1977 vol 383 cc1170-1

2.57 p.m.


My Lords, a Statement is being made today in another place about the business to be taken in the EEC Council of Ministers during June. I shall, 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 June. The monthly forecast for June was deposited yesterday. The Heads of Government of the Member States will meet in London on 29th and 30th June. It is too soon to forecast what subjects are likely to be discussed. At present nine meetings of the Council of Ministers are proposed for June. Foreign Ministers will meet on the 21st; Energy Ministers on the 14th; Environment Ministers on the 14th; Development Ministers on the 16th; Finance Ministers on the 20th; Agriculture Ministers on the 20th, 21st and 27th; Social Affairs Ministers on the 28th, and Transport Ministers on 28th and 29th June. There will also be a Tripartite Conference on 27th June of the Community with both sides of industry. At the Foreign Affairs Council on 21st June, Ministers will discuss preparations for the European Council; relations with the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance, Spain, Cyprus and Malta; and fisheries matters. It is expected that Energy Council Ministers will discuss the general energy situation including nuclear matters; coal, in particular import surveillance and encouragement of coal use in power stations; proposals for energy conservation; oil, including crisis measures and problems of the Community refining industry and promotion and protection of Community energy investment. At the Environment Council, Ministers will consider Directives on the quality of drinking water, wastes from the titanium dioxide and paper pulp industries, toxic and dangerous wastes and a decision on exchange of information on the quality of surface water. Ministers at the Development Council will discuss EEC financial and technical aid to non-associated developing countries, food aid, and a Commission paper on rural development, agriculture and food production in the developing world. Ministers at the Finance Council will discuss preparations for the Tripartite Conference. They will also consider a draft banking co-ordination directive. Agriculture Ministers will meet on 20th and 21st June to discuss proposals for introducing more flexibility into the calculation of monetary compensatory amounts, the labelling of milk products, and matters affecting the balance of the Community wine market. They will also hold a special meeting on 27th June on the future internal fisheries policy and to decide on herring conservation measures after the end of June. At the Social Affairs Council the main subjects for discussion will be the review of the European Social Fund, and proposed directives on the education of migrant workers' children, illegal immigration and illegal employment and the harmonisation of safety signs at work. The Council will also receive a progress report on other items in the social affairs programme. At the Transport Council the main items on the agenda are likely to be the Social Regulation on Drivers' Hours and whole vehicle type approval. Ministers will also have a general policy discussion on transport issues. The Tripartite Conference on 27th June will have as its theme, Growth, Stability and Employment: Stocktaking and Prospects".