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Council Of Ministers

Volume 84: debated on Wednesday 30 October 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. At present, nine meetings of the Council are scheduled for November.The Fisheries Council is expected to meet on 4 November to consider Norway pout; Monkfish and Megrim quotas; increase in plaice total allowable catch quotas in zone 7F and G; marketing standards for shrimps and certain fresh and chilled fish; relations with certain third world countries and international organisations; flat rate quotas for hake, horse mackerel and blue whiting for Spain in 1986; and, possibly, proposals on improving fishing control measures and on technical measures in the Baltic and the Belts.

The Development Council is scheduled to meet on 11 November to discuss the famine in Africa; co-ordination of member states' aid policies; women in development, and trade promotion.

The Energy Council is also scheduled to meet on 11 November to consider the investment proposal for solid fuels; coal aid social measures; state aids for coal; subsidised coking coal; demonstration projects and projects in the hydrocarbons sector; energy objectives; the oxygenate directive and oil refining and oil product prices.

The Transport Council is expected to meet on 14–15 November. Shipping matters to be discussed are unfair practices, the freedom to provide services, cargo sharing and competition rules. Aviation tariffs, capacity and competition rules will also be on the agenda. The Council will additionally discuss drivers' hours, and haulage capacity, lorry weights, drive axle, the Italian 'master plan' initiative and relations with Austria. It is hoped that the Council will be able to start finalising plans for the European Road Safety Year in 1986. Road quotas for Spain and Portugal and the plating directives are possible agenda items.

The Economic and Finance Council is expected to meet on 18 November to continue discussion on the annual report on the economic situation in the Community, and on the recent economic measures in Greece. The Council is also likely to consider proposals for amendments to the Treaty of Rome in respect of the European monetary system; indirect tax approximation in the context of the internal market; and the calculation of commercial interest reference rates which apply to export finance. The Council will probably give final agreement to the Unit Trusts and associated capital movements Directives.

The Agriculture Council is scheduled to meet on 18/19 November to resume its discussion on cereal and rapeseed prices for 1985–86 and the Commission's Green Paper on perspectives for the CAP. It is also expected to consider the review of the sugar regime; ACP — African, Caribbean and Pacific states — sugar; sugar for the chemical industry; starch production refunds; olive oil consumption aid; hormones; and pesticide residues in cereals and foodstuffs of animal origin.

The Foreign Affairs Council is expected to meet on 25/26 November to discuss a negotiating mandate for adaptation protocols to amend the trade regimes under the Community's agreements with Mediterranean countries to take account of enlargement; the Community's trade relations with the United States and Japan, and proposals for special measures to be adopted under ERDF regulation to support regions of the community affected by the difficulties facing the textiles, shipbuilding and fisheries industries, and certain problems faced by border areas.

The Budget Council is expected to meet on 26 November to consider the European Parliament's amendments and modifications to the 1986 draft budget of the European Communities.

The Environment Council is due to meet on 28 November to discuss a directive on agreed limits on vehicle exhaust emissions, a directive on the reduction in emissions of sulphur dioxide, oxides of nitrogen and dust from all existing large combustion plants, the new water directive, the regeneration of waste oils, the harmonisation of member states' programmes for the reduction and eventual elimination of pollution by wastes from industrial establishments, safeguarding against possible harmful effects from the spreading of sewage sludge on agricultural land, a proposed directive to reduce the maximum permitted sulphur content of gas oil, and the marine pollution information system.