§ Mr. Henderson
asked the Secretary of State for Energy whether he will make a statement on the meeting of EEC Energy Ministers on 16 December.
§ Mr. John Moore
Energy Ministers of the EC member States held an informal meeting in Copenhagen on 16 December to discuss the possible elements of a Community solid fuel policy. The meeting agreed that there was a common interest in progress towards a balanced and comprehensive Community strategy for solid fuels. To this end the Ministers agreed to consider proposals which the Commission has put forward or intend shortly to put forward in a number of areas including promoting the use of solid fuels; the handling and transport of coal; coking coal; the modernisation and rationalisation of coal production; the problem of stocks; intra-Community trade in solid fuels; trade with third countries; environmental questions related to coal; and research, development and demonstration. I regard this as a positive and constructive outcome, which will allow progress to be made on an area of Community policy of particular interest to the United Kingdom. I anticipate that discussion will resume on the basis of specific proposals from the Commission in the early part of 1983.