HC Deb 06 June 1996 vol 278 cc523-4W
Mr. Hargreaves

To ask the President of the Board of Trade if he will make a statement on the outcome of the EU Industry Council held on 20 May. [30816]

Mr. Eggar

The Council adopted a resolution on industrial co-operation with third countries, particularly the Mediterranean region. The Council also agreed conclusions on shipbuilding which noted the state of ratification of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development agreement.

The Council also reached political agreement on a basis text of a Council decision implementing a third multi-annual programme for small and medium enterprises which incorporated a United Kingdom request for additional wording highlighting value for money considerations. I placed a parliamentary reserve on the text as a whole.

The Commission made oral presentations on its proposal for a new steel aid code to replace the current one which expires on 31 December, developments in the EU competition policy during 1995; its communications on the competitiveness of the chemical industry and on the textile and clothing subcontracting sector. The latter was referred back to COREPER for further consideration.

Finally, under any other business, the Commission gave a brief report on last week's G7 information society conference in South Africa.