HC Deb 19 July 1989 vol 157 cc192-3W
Mr. Cyril D. Townsend

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the outcome of the Foreign Affairs Council held on 17 July.

Mrs. Chalker

The first Foreign Affairs Council of the new French presidency took place in Brussels on 17 July. My right hon. and learned Friend the Foreign Secretary, my right hon. Friend the Minister for Overseas Development, and I attended for the United Kingdom.

The Council had a procedural discussion on the handling of further work on the economic and monetary issues considered at the European Council in Madrid. It also exchanged views inconclusively on the broadcasting directive.

In the light of the discussion of western support for reform in Poland and Hungary at the Paris economic summit, the Council considered appropriate action and noted that the Commission will urgently submit a proposal for the supply of surplus food stocks to Poland, and will convene a meeting of a wider group of interested countries.

The Council considered the Community's trade relations with the United States and asked the Commission to continue its efforts to resolve the dispute over hormones in meat.

The Council discussed further the Community's position for the renegotiation of the Lomé convention. Final agreement was not possible: the Council will consider the matter further in October.

In their capacity as representatives of the Governments of member states, Ministers appointed the President and members of the new Court of First Instance, which will begin work in the autumn.

In the margins of the Council, the Austrian Foreign Minister formally handed over to the presidency Austria's application for membership of the Community.

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