HC Deb 26 June 1987 vol 118 cc9-10W
Mr. Baldry

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will publish in the Official Report a statement on the outcome of the Foreign Affairs Councils held on 25 and 26 May and 22 and 23 June.

Mrs. Chalker

My right hon. and learned Friend the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs attended the Foreign Affairs Council which took place in Brussels on 25–26 May and Luxembourg on 22–23 June. The May Council was preceded by a meeting of Ministers in political co-operation at which the Foreign Ministers of the Twelve reviewed the situation in South Africa and issued a statement. In the light of the report of the experts sent to the region by the UN Secretary General, Ministers also issued a statement on the use of chemical weapons in the Iran-Iraq war. Copies of both statements have been deposited in the Library of the House.

On both occasions the Council discussed the Commission's proposals for the future financing of the Community. My right hon. and learned Friend stressed that the key to solving the Community's financial problems was better control of expenditure, especially agricultural expenditure. Foreign Ministers will have further discussions in advance of the European Council at a special meeting on 27–28 June.

The Council agreed a decision on the delegation to the Commission of powers for the implementation of measures adopted by the Council.

The Council discussed trade relations between the Community and Japan. It approved Commission proposals for a negotiating mandate in the GATT article XXIV.6 negotiations to ensure that the enlargement of the Community does not increase the imbalance of advantages between the two trading partners; and for an amendment to the Community's anti-dumping regulations to prevent circumvention of the rules by assembly operations with imported components. It also invited the Commission to make proposals for tariffs on Japanese exports diverted from the United States, should these be shown to be damaging or threaten the interests of Community producers.

In the light of the US Congressional debate on trade legislation, the Council reaffirmed the Community's determination to defend its interests as necessary, in accordance with its GATT rights. It gave its full support to the intention of Commissioners de Clercq and Andriessen to visit Washington next month to draw attention to the dangerous consequences of protectionist legislation. The Council asked the Commission to make every effort to achieve an early settlement to the negotiations with the US on pasta export restitutions.

The Council welcomed draft Commission proposals for a negotiating mandate on tropical products in the Uruguay round.

The Council adopted conclusions on the Community's relations with Latin America reflecting the importance which the Community and Twelve attach to that relationship. It agreed to proceed with the signature of protocols to the co-operation and association agreements with a number of Mediterranean countries. The additional protocols to the EC-Tunisia co-operation agreement consequent on Spanish and Portuguese accession to the Community were signed on 25 May. They were followed by the third meeting if the EC-Tunisia Co-operation Council. A ministerial meeting between representatives of the Community and Gulf Co-operation Council was held on 23 June.

The Council approved a revised Commission proposal for the second financial protocol to the EC-Yugoslavia cooperation agreement. This has now been initialled.

The Commission presented to the Council a proposal for a regime to regulate radioactive contamination in food in the event of a nuclear accident.

The Council approved directives on credit and suretyship assurance, legal expenses insurances and the mutual recognition of listing particulars.

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