§ Mr. Redwood
The Council made important progress on almost all items on a long agenda. Agreement was reached on the EC merger control regulation, to deal with mergers with a Community dimension. Political agreements were also reached on the second life insurance services directive, three directives on rights of residence for non-economically advice persons, and on testing and certification. Common positions were agreed on measures concerning package travel, active implantable medical devices, nutritional labelling of foodstuffs and permitted residues of veterinary medicinal products.
The Council agreed to consider further the Commission's analysis of barriers to takeovers once the Commission's programme of specific recommendations is published at the end of March. A helpful statement on implementation of single market measures was also agreed.
The proposed directive on public purchasing (excluded sectors) was discussed. Although agreement was not reached, useful progress was made. It may be possible to agree the directive during the Irish Presidency.
The Council also discussed the proposed European company statute, transEuropean infrastructure., the "social economy" (the co-operative, mutual and nonprofit making sector), legal protection of computer programmes, irradiation of foodstuffs and mutual recognition of professional qualifications.