§ Lord Gainford
asked Her Majesty's Government:
What was the outcome of the Ministerial meeting of the Inter-Governmental Conference on Political Union on 29th July and 30th September.
The Earl of Caithness
The Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs attended ministerial meetings of the Inter-Governmental Conference on Political Union on 29th July and 30th September. The meeting on 29th July was procedural. The120WA Netherlands presidency outlined their plans for the negotiations, to include ministerial meetings in September, November and December, and a two to three day "conclave" of Foreign Ministers in the week of 11th November. The presidency said that they intended after this conclave to prepare a draft treaty for discussion by the President of the Council (Mr. Lubbers) during his tour of member states' capitals before the European Council at Maastricht on 9th and 10th December.
On 24th September the presidency tabled a new draft treaty text, incorporating substantive changes from the text prepared by the Luxembourg presidency in advance of the European Council in Luxembourg on 28th and 29th June. The Ministerial meeting on 30th September concluded that negotiations should continue on the basis of the Luxembourg presidency text. The Netherlands text was subsequently withdrawn. An inter-institutional conference between the Council of Ministers and the European Pariament was held on 1st October. The Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs represented the United Kingdom.