HC Deb 11 May 2001 vol 368 cc490-1W
Mr. Nicholls

To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will list the date of each EU meeting he has attended at which the future of the British livestock industry was discussed; what EU(a) draft and (b) other (i) plans, (ii) proposals and (iii) discussion papers relating to (1) the future of the British livestock industry and (2) an arable-only option for English farming he has been informed of; and if he will make a statement. [157047]

Ms Quin

[holding answer 5 April 2001]: Between July 1998 and April 2001, the Minister and/or I attended 17 meetings of the EU Agriculture Council at which matters affecting he British livestock industry were discussed. In addition, the Minister has attended six informal meetings of the Agriculture Council and I have attended one. These are a forum for discussion on the future direction of EU agri-food policy, based on a Presidency paper. The dates of these meetings, both formal and informal, are set out at Annex A. The outcome of each Council is formally reported to the House.

The most significant set of proposals to date has been the Agenda 2000 proposals on reform of the Common Agricultural Policy. First discussed at the Agriculture Council in March 1998, these were refined and finalised in March 1999. The package included reductions to the

Annex A: Meetings attended by Minister at which matters affecting British lives ock industry were discussed
Date of meeting Forum
20–22 September 1998 Informal Agriculture Council—Austrian Presidency paper: Farming in harmony with nature, agricultural perspectives for rural areas
28 September 1998 Agriculture Council
19–20 October 1998 Agriculture Council
23–24 November 1998 Agriculture Council
14–15 December 1998 Agriculture Council
18–19 January 1999 Agriculture Council
22–23 February 1999 Agriculture Council
4–5 and 9–11 March 1999 Agriculture Council
31 May-1 June 1999 Informal Agriculture Council—German Presidency paper: Sustainable rural development agricultural structure policy for rural areas
19 July 1999 Agriculture Council
13–14 September 1999 Informal Agriculture Council—Finnish Presidency Paper: Agriculture and the new WTO round of negotiations
15–16 November 1999 Agriculture Council
14–15 December 1999 Agriculture Council
24 January 2000 Agriculture Council
20–21 March 2000 Agriculture Council
17–18 April 2000 Agriculture Council
29–30 May 2000 Informal Agriculture Council—Portuguese Presidency Paper:Quality in diversity:a challenge for EU agriculture
19 June 2000 Agriculture Council
17 July 2000 Agriculture Council
21 November 2000 Agriculture Council
4 December 2000 Agriculture Council
19–20 December 2000 Agriculture Council
29 January 2001 Agriculture Council
26–27 February 2001 Agriculture Council
19–20 March 2001 Agriculture Council
24–25 April 2001 Agriculture Council