§ Sir Geoffrey Howe
I represented the United Kingdom at this Council. Agreement was reached on an outline negotiating mandate for the Commission for the OECD export credit consensus negotiations which are to take place in Paris next week.
Ministers also considered their approach to the Williamsburg economic summit to be held next month. I stressed that firm control of budget deficits remained crucial, and that the prospects for world recovery depended on consolidating and sustaining the gains made so far in controlling inflation.
The economic situation in the Community was also reviewed and it was agreed that there should be no change to the economic guidelines adopted last December.
After reaching an agreement with a delegation from the European Parliament, the Council adopted the basic decision on the proposal to contract loans under the new Community instrument III.
Ministers also briefly discussed co-ordination of the Community's financial instruments, the draft insurance services directive, and preparations for the UNCTAD VI conference. The draft seventh company law directive on consolidated accounts was also further considered. This, together with the draft non-life insurance services directive, will be taken again in May.