HL Deb 27 July 1988 vol 500 cc367-8WA
Viscount Dilhorne

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether they will publish, in the Official Report, a statement on the outcome of the Foreign Affairs Council held on 25th July.

Lord Glenarthur

My right honourable friend the Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs attended the Foreign Affairs Council in Brussels on 25th July.

The Council discussed the Community's relations with Eastern Europe at an important juncture, following signature of the EC/CMEA Joint Declaration, the initialling of a Trade and Co-operation Agreement with Hungary, and in the light of the Soviet wish to explore the possible scope of an EC/Soviet agreement. The Council agreed that the Community could play a positive role in the development of relations between East and West Europe, but that the pace of reform in Eastern Europe would be largely dictated by internal developments. The Council also agreed that the Community should continue to give priority to agreements with individual CMEA states rather than CMEA itself; that each country should be treated according to its individual economic and political circumstances; and that all agreements must be firmly based on mutual advantage.

The Presidency and the Commission reported on their plans for handling follow-up to the Hanover Summit.

The Council resolved the main issue which has delayed the establishment of a Court of First Instance. They decided that the jurisdiction of the new court will cover competition, coal and steel, and staff cases, and that a review after two years will consider whether anti-dumping cases should also be included. In a conference of representatives of member states Ministers considered and provisionally accepted nominations to the Court of Justice and agreed to finalise the procedure in September.

Representatives of the Presidency Troika and Portugal met a delegation from the European Parliament to discuss the dates for the 1989 elections. It has since been confirmed that these will be 15th-18th June.