HC Deb 26 June 1985 vol 81 c414W
71. Sir Anthony Meyer

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what proposals he has made to the European Economic Community Council of Ministers for improved decision-making procedures within the European Economic Community.

Mr. Rifkind

We have proposed that in the enlarged Community more use should be made of the majority voting provisions of the treaties; that where unanimity is required, member states should make greater use of the possibility of abstention provided for in article 148(3) of the treaty of Rome, particularly where Heads of Government have agreed in the European Council that a specific objective should be achieved; and that in order to discourage abuse of the Luxembourg compromise, a member state which asks for discussion to continue until unanimous agreement is reached should be required to explain fully and formally, through a special procedure of the Foreign Affairs Council, why it considers very important interests in fact to be at stake.