HC Deb 22 December 1983 vol 51 cc407-8W
Mr. Rhodes James

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. Rifkind

The usual written forecast was deposited in the House earlier today. At present six meetings of the Council of Ministers are planned for January.

The Agriculture Council is next expected to meet on 9–10 January. It is expected to consider the initial reading of the Commission's price proposals for 1984 if tabled, beef import arrangements and classification of beef carcases for intervention, New Zealand butter quotas, a review of the sheepmeat regime and extensions for less favoured areas. It may also consider agricultural structures which include aids for investment in agricultural holdings, measures for forestry and the protection of the environment and the post-Athens control of agricultural expenditure in the current year.

The Consumer Affairs Council may meet on 17 January. Its agenda has not yet been decided.

The Steel Council is due to meet on 17 January to discuss production quotas under article 58, social measures, short term measures and state aids and restructuring of the steel industry. There may be a further Steel Council at the end of January.

The Foreign Affairs Council is due to meet on 23–24 January when it is expected to continue its consideration of the negotiations for a change in Greenland's status in the Community; discuss the Commission's consultations with the United States Administration about quotas and duties imposed on European Community special steel imports into the United States; and prepare the Community's position for the next ministerial negotiating conference with Portugal. Ministers may also discuss the draft common commercial policy regulation; review progress in the negotiations on a successor to the Lomé convention and review the work of the ad hoc working group monitoring the Community's response to the Greek memorandum. Since this will be the first Foreign Affairs Council under the French Presidency, Ministers are also likely to consider the next steps in the negotiations on the future of the Community.

The Fisheries Council is next expected to meet on 31 January to discuss 1984 total allowable catches—TACs —and quotas.