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Council Of Ministers (Forthcoming Business)

Volume 22: debated on Friday 30 April 1982

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asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will publish in the Official Report a statement of forthcoming business in the European Community Council of Ministers.

At present, meetings of the Council of Ministers are planned for May. The usual written forecast was deposited in the House on 28 April. The Agriculture Council is expected to meet on 3–4 May to continue discussion of the 1982–83 CAP price fixing proposals and changes in Mediterranean support regimes in preparation for the enlargement of the Community.The Council of Industry Ministers is expected to meet on 4 May to discuss and review the state of the European steel regime. Discussions are likely to cover progress in carrying out the decision on State aids and capacity reductions and renewal of the anti-crisis measures with effect from 1 July and a proposal to open a duty free quota for imports of two grades of ferro-chrome. Ministers may also consider industrial strategy and Commission recommendations on telecommunications in industry.

The Budget Council is due to meet on 11 May to discuss the Council's negotiating position for a meeting at the end of May between the Presidents of the Council, Commission and European Parliament to discuss budgetary procedure.

The Finance Council is expected to meet on 17 May to resume discussions on the draft non-life insurance services directive and on the European monetary system. Ministers may also discuss the fifth medium-term economic programme and Japanese macro-economic policy.

The Fisheries Council is expected to meet on 18 May to discuss the outstanding issues of a revised common fisheries policy.

The Foreign Affairs Council is expected to meet on 25 May to review the Community's relations with Japan. There may also be a further meeting between the Council and the European Parliament for conciliation on a draft management regulation on the Community's food aid programme. The Council may also discuss any necessary follow up to the ACP/EC Ministers meeting on 13–14 May, and the question of aid to Central America.

The Labour and Social Affairs Council is expected to meet on 27 May to discuss a Commission communication on employment, which outlines a Community action programme to fight unemployment; the womens action programme, designed to promote the position of women in the Community; proposals for a four-year work programme for drawing up medium term projections of social expenditure and its financing and, as part of a general review of the proposals on the adaptation of working time, a recommendation on flexible retirement and a draft directive on part-time work. Ministers are also likely to consider a draft directive on the protection of workers from asbestos; the relationship between health and safety and technical barriers to trade and lead in the workplace.