HC Deb 08 April 1998 vol 310 cc360-1W
Mr. Plaskitt

To ask the President of the Board of Trade what topics were discussed at the EU Ministerial Council on the Internal Market on 30 March; and what matters were voted upon. [38769]

Mrs. Beckett

My noble Friend the Minister for Trade and Competitiveness in Europe chaired the Internal Market Council in Brussels on 30 March. My hon. Friend the Minister for Competition and Consumer Affairs occupied the UK seat.

The Council held a debate on three key issues of the Single Market Action Plan; implementation of the Plan, the state of transposition, application and effective implementation of internal market legislation, and the functioning of the principle of mutual recognition, on which it agreed formal conclusions. The Council also assessed progress on the initiative "Simpler Legislation for the Internal Market" (SLIM) and endorsed Commission proposals to establish Business Test Panels through which business will be consulted about selected new EU draft legislation.

The Council held an extensive exchange of views on the proposal for a Regulation creating a Commission intervention mechanism for the elimination of certain obstacles to trade. The Council expressed its resolve to find, urgently, an effective solution to the problem.

The Council took note of the progress achieved on the draft Regulation on the Statute for a European Company and gave its support to continuing work along the present lines.

The Council heard presentations from the Commission on: the proposed Directive on the harmonisation of certain aspects of copyright and related rights in the Information

Society, the Communication on Public Procurement, the Communication on Commercial Communications, and The Year 2000 Computer Problem.

The Council took note of the Memorandum "Creating a European Community and international environment to develop electronic commerce" presented by the French delegation.

No voting took place at this Council.