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Council Of Ministers

Volume 78: debated on Tuesday 30 April 1985

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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.

The usual written forecast was deposited in the House earlier today (30 April). At present, nine meetings of the Council of Ministers are planned for May.The Agriculture Council is expected to meet on 2—5 May to continue discussion of the Commission's price proposals for 1985. Further meetings are scheduled for 13—15 May and, possibly, 20—21 May.The Internal Market Council is due to meet on 7 May to discuss the draft directives on the co-ordination of laws relating to self employed commercial agents; the rights of establishment of architects; the mutual recognition of qualifications and rights of establishment of pharmacists; and the easing of controls and formalities applicable to nationals of the member states when crossing intra-Community borders. There will be further discussion of the European standards initiative, especially in relation to technological harmonisation and standards. The Council will also consider the draft regulation to establish a European Economic interest grouping and the draft regulation laying down certain measures for the standardisation and simplification of the statistics of trade between member states. The Economic and Finance Council will meet on 13 May to discuss the implementation of budget discipline for the 1986 budgetary procedures; and a progress report on the proposed directive concerning the harmonisation of laws, regulations and administrative provisions in connection with Unit trusts. The Council may also consider proposals for harmonisation of the structure of duties on alcoholic drinks; and a compromise proposal for tax reliefs for travellers, for small private consignments and for fuel in tanks of commercial vehicles.A Consumer Affairs Council is expected to meet on 14 May. It is likely to discuss product liability; proposals for a Community information system on accidents involving consumer products, for a directive on consumer credit, and for a directive on consumer protection in connection with doorstep selling; and proposed amendments to directives on consumer protection in respect of unit price marking.The Foreign Affairs Council will meet on 20—21 May. The agenda may include the Community's policy towards its Mediterranean partners after enlargement in the light of the Council's declaration of 30 March 1985; and the Commission's negotiating mandate for an EC—Central America co-operation agreement.The Transport Council is due to meet on 23 May to discuss strategy for achieving a common transport policy; proposals on drivers hours and proposed transport infra-structure support.

The Co-operation and Development Council is expected to meet on 23 May to discuss the Community's response to the famine in Africa, including the long-term prevention of famine; a study on the cost effectiveness of Community food aid; and development projects to prevent specific problems, such as desertification. The Council may also consider the role of women in development; and preparations for the June ministerial meeting between the Community and the African Caribbean and Pacific states.