HL Deb 05 November 1986 vol 481 cc1173-5WA
Earl De La Warr

asked Her Majesty's Government:

If they will publish in the Official Report a statement of forthcoming business in the European Community Council of Ministers.

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Young)

The usual forecast has been deposited in the House. At present, 12 meetings of the Council of Ministers are planned for November.

The Internal Market Council will meet on 3rd November and will consider a number of items from the Presidency Action Programme.

The Transport Council will meet on 10th/11 th November. As the Presidency, the UK will aim to build on the progress made at the informal meeting of European Community Transport Ministers in London on 3rd October and try to secure adoption of a package of practical measures to liberalise European air transport. The meeting will also consider the Commission proposals on a Community transport infrastructure policy and arrangements for liberalising road haulage.

The Development Council will meet on 11 th December and is expected to consider a Commission proposal for a new Council regulation on food aid policy, a draft resolution on population policy in community aid programmes, a Commission report on EDF programming and a report on famine rehabil. The Council may also consider a draft regulation establishing a system of compensation ("Compex") for losses in export earnings to least developed countries which are not signatory to the Lomé Convention.

The Cultural Affairs Council will meet on 13th November and will consider resolutions on Architectural Heritage, Translation, Business Sponsorship and Conservation. The Council is expected to discuss a number of subjects under Any Other Business, including the Presidency Report on the British Film Institute Symposium and "Glasgow, City of Culture".

The Economic and Finance Council will meet on 17th November to discuss the Commission's annual report on the economic situation in the Community; the draft directive on liberalisation of capital movements; the Commission proposal for a further New Community Instrument (NCI IV) for project lending in the Community; and the proposed new framework programme for Community research and development, in the context of the budget discipline conclusions. The Council may also discuss a revision to an existing mandate on tied aid financing. In line with the remit from its meeting in June, as endorsed by the European Council, the Council has continued work on proposals for harmonising the structure of VAT and excise duties, and may review the progress made to date.

The Agriculture Council is expected to meet on 17th/ 18th November. Among the subjects likely to be discussed are the reform of the Community's beef regime; emergency measures in the milk sector; the social butter scheme; socio-structural measures; extraction solvents; medicated feedingstuffs; and eradication directives for live animals of the bovine and porcine species. It may also consider four food law directives and other items concerned with the completion of the internal market.

The Industry Council will meet on 18th November. The Council will continue its discussion of the Commission's proposal for a sixth Council Directive on Aid to Shipbuilding to replace the existing directive which expires on 31st December 1986. The Council will also resume discussion of the Commission's proposals to free certain steel products from the production quota system from the beginning of 1987. Ministers are in addition expected to consider a draft Council recommendation on the Integrated Services Digital Network designed to harmonise the progressive introduction of advanced telecommunications within the Community.

The Environment Council will meet on 24th November. Among items for discussion are large combustion plants, vehicle emissions, the Fourth Environment Action Programme, chlorofluorcarbons, the sulphur content of gas oil and motor-cycle noise.

The Foreign Affairs Council will meet on 24th and 25th November. The Council is likely to consider Commission proposals for the Community's Generalised Scheme of Preferences for 1987. It will also discuss Mediterranean Financial Protocols, to decide a mandate for the negotiation of the new generation of Maghreb and Mashraq Financial Protocols; and EC/Turkey, to agree a Community position for discussions with Turkey on the provisions of the EC/Turkey Association Agreement relating to the free circulation of labour. The Council may also review EC/US trade relations, including specific current bilateral problems; and discuss the Commission's proposals for a review of arrangements for trade in steel between the Community and third country producers.

The Energy Council will meet on 26th November. The Council is expected to discuss a number of subjects, including the oil market, oil stocks, energy efficiency, new and renewable sources of energy, national use of energy in transport, oil refinery capacity and petroleum products, energy labelling and Euratom Chapter III.

The Budget Council is due to meet on 26th/27th November to discuss the European Parliament's amendments and modifications to the 1987 Draft Budget, which was established by the Council on 9th September.

The Education Council is expected to meet on 28th November to consider a proposal for a European Community Action Scheme for the Mobility of University Students (ERASMUS).