HC Deb 28 March 1983 vol 40 cc48-9W
Mr. Best

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. Onslow

At present 4 meetings of the Council of Ministers are planned for April. The usual written forecast was deposited in the House today.

The Finance Council is expected to meet on 18 April. Ministers will consider a possible Community position for the OECD export credit consensus negotiations. Ministers may also further discuss the Commission's proposal to contract loans under the new Community instrument and exchange views on progress with the draft seventh Company Law directive on group accounts and the draft insurance services directive.

The Agriculture Council is next expected to meet on 18–19 April. It is expected to consider the welfare of battery hens, long term contracts with third countries and possibly the reform of the Mediterranean Acquis which includes fruit, vegetables and olive oil. It may also consider CAP price fixing if this is not settled at the previous meeting.

The Energy Council is expected to meet next on 21 April. Amongst other subjects the Council is likely to discuss, coal, investment in the rational use of energy, and the oil market.

The Foreign Affairs Council is due to meet on 25–26 April when it is expected to discuss the Community's budgetary problems, the proposed new European regional development fund regulation, agricultural trade relations with the United States, the Community's external steel policy and preparations for the ACP/EC Council of Ministers meeting in May.

Ministers are expected to examine a report from the ad hoc working group considering Greenland's application to withdraw from the Community. They will also prepare declarations on further aspects of Spanish accession for presentation to the Spaniards at a ministerial conference in the margins of the Council. Portuguese accession is also likely to be considered.