HC Deb 27 April 1983 vol 41 c347W
Mr. Bill Walker

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the outcome of the Foreign Affairs Council on 25 and 26 April.

Mr. Pym

I represented the United Kingdom at the Foreign Affairs Council which met in Luxembourg on 25–26 April. A ministerial conference with Spain was held in the margins of the Council on 26 April.

The Council discussed the future financing of the Community and in particular the solution for 1983 and later. This will be discussed further when Foreign Ministers meet informally on 14–15 May, in order to prepare for the decisions to be taken at the May Foreign Affairs Council to fulfil the remit given to Foreign Ministers by the March European Council.

Ministers discussed a number of topics in political co-operation, and issued statements on recent events at the Thai-Cambodian border and on the third Community analysis of the Europran Community code of conduct for companies operating in South Africa. Copies of both statements have been placed in the Library of the House. Ministers also reviewed the position of the Ten in the light of the latest developments at the CSCE meeting in Madrid.

The Council agreed to continue to impress on the United States Administration the Community's serious concern at the extra-territorial provisions of the Administration's Bill to renew the United States Export Administration Act.

There was discussion also of a number of subjects on which more work needs to be done before decisions can be taken, including a revised regional fund regulation and the Community preparations for UNCTAD VI. There was a first exchange of views on the position that the Community should adopt in the renegotiation of the Lomé convention, which is due to start in September.

In the margins of the Council, Ministers had a meeting with representatives of the European Parliament. There was some discussion of difficulties which have arisen over the dates of the next European Parliament election. The Presidency explained where matters stood in the Council on the common electoral system and the Genscher/Colombo proposals, and took note of the Parliament's views.

At the ministerial conference with Spain, agreement was reached on aspects of the customs union chapter relating to textiles and quantitative restrictions.