HC Deb 17 June 2002 vol 387 cc8-9W
Mr. Hood

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what the outcome of the General Affairs Council meeting of 10 and 11 June was; what the Government's stance on the issues discussed, including its voting record was; and if he will make a statement. [62930]

Mr. Spring

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the conclusions of the General Affairs Council at Luxembourg on 10 June. [61876]

Peter Hain

I represented the UK at the General Affairs Council in Luxembourg on 10 June.


The Council welcomed progress made under the Spanish presidency, including on aspects of the agriculture chapter. The Council instructed experts to pursue work on the question of direct payment.

The Council reaffirmed the Union's commitment to an inclusive approach to enlargement. The Council reiterated its determination to bring the accession negotiations with the candidate countries that are ready to a successful conclusion by the end of 2002. In that context, it welcomed the Commission's proposals for strengthening the candidate countries' administrative capacity, and the provision of further special financial assistance from the PHARE programme. It called on the Commission to continue with regular monitoring of candidate countries' practical implementation of the Community acquis.

Additional customs duties on imports of certain US products

The Council gave unanimous support to the Commission's proposal for a regulation on additional custom duties for certain US products. This will be formally adopted at the 13 June JHA Council, entering into force by 18 June to meet the WTO deadline.


The Council expressed grave concern about the crisis between India and Pakistan. It called on Pakistan to take visible, decisive and verifiable steps to: seal the Line of Control; restrain, and stop supply of, militant groups in Kashmir; and close the training camps on Pakistan's side of the Line of Control. The Council called for diplomatic and military de-escalation, implementation of a ceasefire and the resumption of dialogue. The Council underlined the EU's commitment to help defuse the immediate crisis, and to support efforts to achieve a lasting resolution to the differences between India and Pakistan.

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