HC Deb 23 October 1979 vol 972 cc149-50W
Mr. Ancram

asked the Lord Privy Seal if he will publish in the Official Report a statement of forthcoming business in the EEC Council of Ministers.

Sir Ian Gilmour

Heads of State and Government will meet in the European Council in Dublin on 29 and 30 November. At present five meetings of the Council of Ministers are proposed for November. The usual written forecast was deposited in the House on Monday 22 October.

The Agriculture Council will meet on 12 and 13 November and is expected to discuss the common organisation of the markets for ethyl alcohol and possibly potatoes and mutton and lamb; proposals to restore the balance of the wine market; structural agricultural problems in the Community and the revision of the common organisation of the market for sugar.

The Finance Council will meet on 19 November and is expected to discuss the Commission's proposals for correcting the present inequitable arrangements for financing the Community budget. Ministers will also consider the Commission's draft annual report on the economic situation in the Community for 1979–80 and its annual economic review for 1979–80.

The Foreign Affairs Council will meet on 20 November and will probably con- tinue its discussions on 26 and 27 November. It is expected to consider preparations for the European Council in Dublin on 29 and 30 November, including the budget and the report of the "Three Wise Men". The Council may also consider the next stage of the EEC/Cyprus association agreement; Portugal's requests for improvements in the present trade agreement; the Spanish accession negotiations; negotiation of the new EEC/Yugoslavia agreement; aspects of implementation by the Community of agreements negotiated in the GATT multilateral trade negotiations; procedure for handling the European Parliament's resolutions and questions to ensure that relations between the institutions are as smooth and harmonious as possible; internal and external aspects of the Community's anti-crisis measures for steel in 1980; aid to shipbuilding—scrap-and-build—and the draft directives on midwives' right of establishment and freedom to provide services.

The Labour and Social Affairs Council will meet on 22 November and is expected to consider aspects of work-sharing including training "en alternance"—that is linking work and training. Ministers are also expected to discuss relations with the social partners; consultation between member States and the Community institutions on migration policies vis-à-vis third countries; the annual report of the social fund: the Commission's proposal to extend the scope of the EEC social regulations for migrant workers to include self-employed and insured non-employed persons and the finalisation of the directive on the protection of employees in the event of the insolvency of their employers. In addition the Council may consider the framework directive on the protection of workers from the harmful effects of chemical, physical and biological agents at work.

The Budget Council is expected to meet on 23 November to consider the European Parliament's proposed modifications and amendments to the draft Community budget for 1980.