HL Deb 04 July 1978 vol 394 cc842-3

My Lords, a Statement is being made today in another place about business to be taken during July in the EEC Council of Ministers. With the leave of the House, 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 he taken by Ministers of the European Community during July. The monthly written forecast was deposited on Thursday 29th June. Heads of State and Government will meet in the European Council in Bremen on 6th and 7th July. At present six meetings of the Council of Ministers are proposed for that month. The Budget Council will meet on the 18th, the Finance Council on the 24th, a joint ACP/EEC Council on the 24th, the Agriculture Council and the Fisheries Council on the 24th and 25th, and the Foreign Affairs Council on the 25th. The Budget Council is expected to establish the Preliminary Draft General Community Budget in 1979. The Finance Council is expected to discuss a draft Commission Decision adapting economic policy guidelines for 1978 and proposing guidelines for the preparation of public budgets in 1979. The Council is also expected to review the outcome of the European Council meeting in Bremen and the Western Economic Summit in Bonn and may discuss a draft life insurance directive. A joint ACP/EEC Council will be held to open the renegotiation of the Lome Convention. The Agriculture Council is expected to discuss proposals for the organisation of the market in potatoes and wine, and agricultural structural problems in the Community generally and in the Mediterranean area. The Fisheries Council is expected to consider the future of agreements with Norway, Sweden and the Faroes, conservation measures and possibly the other Commission proposals for revision of the Common Fisheries Policy. The Foreign Affairs Council will consider any necessary follow-up to the European Council meeting and will discuss issues raised at the joint ACP/EEC Council meeting. The Council will also consider EEC-Yugoslavia relations, review developments in the GATT multilateral trade negotiations, and receive a progress report on the negotiations for Greek accession to the Community. They will have a second discussion of the Commission's enlargement "fresco". They will review progress in the negotiations with Spain on the revision of the 1970 Agreement and may continue their discussion of structural policy in the iron and steel sector. The Council will also review progress made in the arrangements for direct elections to the European Assembly. Mr. Speaker, July marks the end of the Danish Presidency of the Council of Ministers and I would like in conclusion to express the Government's admiration for the capable and effective way in which Denmark has discharged the onerous duties of that office. In particular I wish to express our warm regard for the skilful manner in which Mr. K. B. Andersen, the Danish Foreign Minister—a statesman of great warmth, humanity and vision—has presided over the Council discussions and to wish him well for the future ".