HC Deb 11 June 2002 vol 386 c1158W
Mr. Hood

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what the outcome was of the Internal Market, Consumer and Tourism Council on 21 May; what the Government's stance was on the issues discussed, including its voting record; and if she will make a statement. [59177]

Miss Melanie Johnson

Council conclusions were agreed on the Community Patent stating that the Presidency package is the basis for further work but that nothing is finally agreed until there is agreement on the whole package and that further work is needed on jurisdiction in particular. There was political agreement on the Public Procurement Directive and on the European Co-operative Society Statute.

Resolutions were agreed on the Future of European Tourism and supporting the Commission's approach to better regulation. There was political agreement on the substance of the Customs 2007 programme, to continue and enhance customs co-operation, although the UK and two other member states maintained reservations on the legal base.

There was a policy debate on the draft sales promotion regulation and Commission briefings on consumers and the euro, the follow-up to the Green Paper on EU Consumer Protection, services of general economic interest and on the proposal for a consolidated directive on the mutual recognition of professional qualifications. The Commission presented its recently adopted Consumer Policy Strategy 2002–06 and there was a Presidency presentation on the fourth European Consumers' Day in Madrid. There was a short discussion on the 2002 Review of the Internal Market Strategy, the Single Market Scoreboard and the Joint Work Programme of the Three Presidencies and a Presidency briefing on the proposal for a regulation on Food Hygiene.

Under Any Other Business the Commission urged member states to accept the European Parliament's broad endorsement of the Council's common position on the Distance Marketing of Financial Services Directive.

The UK voted in favour of the two legislative items—the public procurement directive and the European Co-operative Society Statute. Conclusions were adopted on the Community Patent with the UK in favour. The Resolutions on Tourism and Better Regulation were agreed also with the UK in favour. The UK voted against political agreement on the Customs 2007 item, due to the proposed legal base.