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Council Of Ministers

Volume 98: debated on Wednesday 4 June 1986

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asked the Sectetary 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 forecast was deposited in the House earlier today. Heads of State and Government will meet at The Hague on 26, 27 and 28 June. At present 13 meetings of the Council of Ministers are planned for June.The Energy Council met on 3 June. The Council was to consider the new Community energy objectives. Further consideration was also expected to be given to the coal dossiers—coal state aids and coal social measures—and to Commission papers on new and renewable sources of energy, the oil market and refinery industry, rational use of energy in industry, and on peat and lignite. It was proposed that nuclear issues would be discussed over lunch.The Labour and Social Affairs Council will meet on 5 June to consider directives on occupational social security equal treatment for self-employed women and the proscription of certain specified carcinogens, a recommendation on the employment of the disabled and an action programme for women. Ministers are also expected to debate long-term unemployment and give preliminary consideration to a discussion paper put forward jointly by the UK, Italy and Ireland on "Employment Growth into the 1990s: a strategy for the Labour Market."The Industry Council will meet on 9 June and is expected to consider a Commission proposal for a directive concerning the first phase of the establishment of the mutual recognition of type approval for telecommunication terminal equipment. The Council is likely to discuss a proposal for a Council directive on the adoption of common standards for direct broadcasting by satellite. The Council may discuss the inter-institutional integrated services information system (INSIS). The Council is likely to consider a proposal on an action plan for standardisation in the field of information technology and telecommunications. It is expected that the Commission will, after discussions with member states, be in a position on 9 June to outline to Industry Ministers its proposals for the arrangements to follow the fifth directive on aid to shipbuilding. The Commission will submit an analysis of the factors which have affected the competitive performance of European industry and invite the Council to discuss the implications for industrial policy in the Community. The Council may also consider the progress of the Commission's proposed directive on the legal protection of original topographies of semiconductor products.The Education Council is due to meet on 9 June. It will discuss the proposal for a European Community action scheme for the mobility of university students (ERASMUS) and a presidency paper on the medium-term activities in the field of education. It is expected that a resolution on consumer education will be adopted.The Research Council will meet on 10 June. The Council is expected to discuss various aspects of the EC research and development framework programme for 1987–91.The Environment Council will meet on 12 June. The Council will consider a draft directive on large combustion plants which aims to reduce emissions of sulphur dioxide, oxides of nitrogen and dust. It is expected that further consideration will be given to the Seveso directive on industrial handling of dangerous chemicals. The Council will look at proposals to amend the waste oils directive. In addition, it is expected that the Council will consider draft directives on sulphur content of gas oil, vehicle emissions, titanium dioxide and animal experimentation.

The Economic and Finance Council will meet on 16 June. The Council is expected to discuss: monetary and financial relations between the European Community and Japan; the work of the high level group on tax approximation; and the liberalisation of capital movements within the Community. The Council may also continue its consideration of the Community's current budgetary situation; and may discuss the economic situation in preparation for the European Council later in the month.

The Foreign Affairs Council will meet on 16–17 June. It is likely to discuss the new GATT round and in particular its overall approach towards a new round of multilateral trade negotiations with a view to reaching agreement on a broad strategy. The Council again may discuss the overall climate in EC-US relations. The Council is likely to consider two Commission proposals for community programmes under the ERDF main regulation. The first proposal (STAR) is to provide ERDF aid towards improving access to advanced telecommunications services and the other (VALOREN) towards the exploitation of indigenous energy potential, both in least-favoured regions of the Community, including Northern Ireland. The Council is also expected to consider a revised mandate for negotiations with Mediterranean third countries on the adaptation of their Co-operation-Association agreements to take account of enlargement; to fix a date for the EC-Turkey Association Council and review progress on the normalisation of relations; and to review relations between the EC and the Gulf Co-operation Council.

The Transport Council is due to meet on 18 and 19 June. The Council will discuss Community policy on shipping and civil aviation. The Council is also expected to give further consideration to transport issues and, in particular, to road haulage liberalisation.

The Internal Market Council will meet on 23 June. The Council is likely to discuss progress on the implementation of the Commission White Paper, including a report by the Commission and the report to be presented by the Dutch presidency to the European Council 26–27 June. The Council is likely to discuss a presidency report on public purchasing and in particular the Commission's proposals for improving the effectiveness of the supplies directive. The Council may discuss the proposed commercial agents directive which seeks to regulate the relationship between commercial agents and their principals. The industrial truck directive, which seeks to harmonise construction and safety standards, will be discussed. The Council is likely to discuss standards for simple pressure vessels. The Council will also discuss directives on frontier controls, noise of motor cycles, tractors (roll-over protection controls) and a right of residence.

The Consumer Council will meet on 24 June. The Council will discuss further the proposal for a directive on consumer credit. Following inconclusive discussions at an earlier Council meeting, the Consumer Council is also likely to discuss further proposals for unit pricing directives.

The Agriculture Council is expected to meet on 24 and 25 June to discuss the Commission's proposed socio-structural package, less-favoured areas in Germany, Spain and Portugal, flavourings, extraction solvents, quick frozen foodstuffs, animal feedingstuffs (Aflatoxin) and food harmonisation. The Fisheries Council is also expected to meet on 25 June to discuss technical conservation measures, fisheries structural policy, inspection and control and relations with third countries. An informal meeting of Ministers will be held on 8, 9 and 10 June to debate the effects on agricultural policy of developments in international markets.

The European Council will meet on 26 and 27 June in The Hague.