HC Deb 01 April 1981 vol 2 cc110-1W
Sir Anthony Meyer

asked the Lord Privy Seal if he will publish in the Official Report a forecast of forthcoming business in the European Community's Council of Ministers.

Sir Ian Gilmour

The usual written forecast was deposited in the House on 31 March. At present four meetings of the Council of Ministers are planned for April.

The Finance Council is expected to meet on 13 April for a preliminary discussion of the items on the agenda for the next meeting of the IMF interim committee to be held in Gabon on 21 May: the issues are expected to include the IMF's progress in securing borrowed resources and whether or not a further allocation of special drawing rights is needed. Ministers may also deal with matters arising from the European Council in Maastricht.

The Foreign Affairs Council will meet on 13–14 April and is expected to consider the Community attitude to the proposed North/South discussions and other discussions of international economic questions. Ministers will also discuss a regulation containing provisions for the management of the Community's food aid programme and preparations for the forthcoming negotiations on post 1981 arrangements for imports of low-cost textiles. There will also be a negotiating meeting with Portugal in the context of Portuguese accession to the Community.

The Agriculture Council is expected to meet on 13–15 April to continue discussion of the common agricultural policy price proposals. Ministers are also expected to consider proposals for controlling the use of hormones in domestic animals.

The Developing Council is expected to meet on 28 April to discuss action in response to the European Parliament debate on hunger in the world; a draft food aid management regulation; Community co-ordination at the United Nations Conference on the Least Developed and hold a general discussion of North-South issues. Ministers may also consider the results of the international conference on assistance to refugees in Africa and an evaluation of Community aid.