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Council Of Ministers

Volume 990: debated on Thursday 7 August 1980

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asked the Lord Privy Seal if he will publish in the Official Report a statement of forthcoming business in the European Community Council of Ministers.

No meetings of the Council of Ministers are planned for August, and at present 10 meetings of the Council are scheduled for September and October. The usual written forecast was deposited in the House on 4 August.The Foreign Affairs Council is expected to meet on 15 September to discuss the negotiation of a co-operation agreement with the countries of the Andean Pact; a formal review of the working of the Community's 1975 co-operation agreement with Israel; a negotiating mandate for Zimbabwe's accession to the Lomé convention; the Community's position in international discussions on commodities such as cocoa and tin; progress in the accession negotiation with Portugal and Spain; pre-accession aid for Portugal; the draft right of establishment directive for architects; and export quotas for ferrous scrap. The Council is also expected to discuss further the implementation of the agreement of 30 May on the United Kingdom's budget contribution and to approve the draft regulation on the non-quota section of the European regional development fund. The Council is expected to meet again on 7 October, when discussion is likely to include the Community's steel anti-crisis measures.The Finance Council is expected to meet on 22 September to consider a Commission paper on the effect of recent oil price rises. Ministers are also likely to exchange views on the forthcoming annual meeting of the International Monetary Fund, to be held in Washington at the beginning of October. The Council is also expected to meet on 20 October to discuss the economic situation in the Community in preparation for the Commission's third quarterly review.The Budget Council is expected to meet on 23 September in order to establish the 1981 draft Community budget.The Fisheries Council is expected to meet on 29 September and possibly again in October to discuss all aspects of the common fisheries policy. This will include access arrangements, national quota allocations and control arrangements.The Agriculture Council is expected to meet on 29–30 September and again on 20–21 October. It will give further consideration to arrangements for post-1980 access to the market for New Zealand butter. Ministers are also expected to discuss agreements with third country suppliers of mutton and lamb and the implementation of the new market arrangements; proposals concerning agricultural structures, and the common organisation of the market in ethyl alcohol.The Fiscal Questions Council is expected to meet on 27 October to resume discussion about the basis for harmonising the structure of excise duties on alcoholic drinks. Ministers will also consider a request by Belgium for derogation under article 27 of the sixth VAT directive, proposals on tax reliefs for temporarily imported means of transport and permanent imports of personal property, and tax reliefs for intra-Community travellers.