§ Sir Antony Buck
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the Foreign Affairs Council of 20–21 May.
§ Mr. Rifkind
My right hon. and learned Friend and I represented the United Kingdom at the Foreign Affairs Council which met in Brussels on 20 May.
The Council briefly discussed some of the few remaining issues in the enlargement negotiations still to be resolved before the treaty of accession is signed on 12 June.
There was also a brief discussion of progress in following up the proposals in the first report of the "People's Europe" Committee. The Commission urged member states to speed up implementation of some of these recommendations.
There was further consideration of the negotiating mandate for the second EC-Yugoslavia financial protocol. Discussion of this will continue at the June meeting of the Council.
The Council agreed a declaration on relations with the United States in the steel sector, stressing the need to find satisfactory solutions to outstanding problems as soon as possible and reiterating the declaration agreed by the Council of Industry Ministers on 26 March that the Community would react strongly to any unilateral restrictions on trade imposed by the United States. Copies of the declaration are being placed in the Library of the House.
Ministers of the Ten briefly discussed the situation in the Lebanon, and issued a short statement. Copies of this are also being placed in the Library of the House.