§ 48. Mr. Spearing
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will publish in the OFFICIAL REPORT the relevant extracts from the Luxembourg communiquéof the EEC of 29th January 1966 concerning unanimity of decisions, where under the Treaty of Rome decisions may be taken on a majority vote, stating the articles of treaties modified thereby.453W
§ Mr. Hattersley
I append the extracts referred to by my hon. Friend.
The compromise on majority voting arrived at in the EEC Council of Ministers on 29th January 1966 is not a treaty or a formal international agreement. It is a practical understanding devised by the original six members of the Community which does not formally modify any articles of the treaties.
THE "LUXEMBOURG COMPROMISE" ON MAJORITY VOTING IN THE COUNCIL OF MINISTERS OF THE EUROPEAN COMMUNITIES
After a meeting of the Council of Ministers of the EEC which took place in Luxembourg on 29th January 1966 the following communiquéwas issued about majority voting:I. Where, in the case of decisions which may be taken by majority vote on a proposal of the Commission, very important interests of one or more partners are at stake, the Members of the Council will endeavour, within a reasonable time, to reach solutions which can be adopted by all the Members of the Council while respecting their mutual interests and those of the Community, in accordance with Article 2 of the Treaty.II. With regard to the foregoing paragraph, the French delegation considers that where very important interests are at stake the discussion must be continued until unanimous agreement is reached.III. The six delegations note that there is a divergence of views on what should be done in the event of failure to reach complete agreement.IV. The six delegations nevertheless consider that this divergence does not prevent the Community's work being resumed in accordance with the normal procedure".
The following further information about the discussions in the Council on 19th January 1966 was later made public in Community publications:In addition, the Members of the Council propose to adopt the following decisions by common consent: the financial regulation for agriculture; extensions to the market organisation for fruit and vegetables; the regulation on the organisation of sugar markets; the regulations on the organisation of markets in oils and fats; the fixing of common prices for milk, beef and veal, rice, sugar, olive oil and oilseeds. These are all questions that were under discussion before 1st July 1965".
NOTE. The English texts reproduced above are those published in the English language edition of the "Ninth General Report on the Activities of the Community (1st April 1965 31st March 1966)" published by the EEC Commission in June 1966.