HC Deb 30 June 1982 vol 26 cc333-4W
Mr. Chapman

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will publish in the Official Report a statement of forthcoming business in the European Community Council of Ministers.

Mr. Hurd

At present five meetings of the Council of Ministers are planned for July. The usual written forecast was deposited in the House on 29 June.

The Finance Council is expected to meet on 12 July to continue discussion on the quarterly review of the economic situation in the Community and follow up any other matters arising from the 28–29 June European Council. Ministers are also expected to discuss aspects of the draft seventh company law directive on group accounts.

The Energy Council is expected to meet on 13 July to discuss investment in the rational use of energy, the contribution of nuclear power to Community energy policy and the Community's coal policy. Ministers will also review both the energy demonstration projects programme and member States' progress towards the Community's energy policy objectives for 1990 and may discuss oil refining and consider draft directives on energy labelling.

The Agriculture Council is expected to meet on 19–20 July and may consider Mediterranean agriculture, the welfare of hens in battery cages and agri-monetary issues.

The Foreign Affairs Council is expected to meet on 19–20 July to discuss the implementation of the agreement of 24–25 May on refunds to the United Kingdom in respect of 1982 budgetary payments, the Community's relations with the European Free Trade Area—EFTA—and Japan and preparations for the next GATT ministerial meeting. Ministers will also continue discussion on the Portuguese accession negotiations on the regulation on aid to Northern Ireland housing and may also discuss the new European regional development fund regulation. In addition, there may be a further meeting between the Council and the European Parliament for conciliation on a draft management regulation on the Community's food aid programme.

The Budget Council is expected to meet on 22 July to discuss the Community's preliminary draft budget for 1983.