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Foreign Affairs Council

Volume 115: debated on Wednesday 29 April 1987

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asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will publish in the Official Report a statement on the outcome of the Foreign Affairs Council held on 26–27 April.

I attended the Foreign Affairs Council in Luxembourg on 26 and 27 April.The Council held a first discussion of the Commission's proposals for the future financing of the Community. I stressed that the root of the Community's financial difficulties lay in failure to control agricultural production, and that addressing that problem and improving the control of Community expenditure must therefore be the key elements in the lasting solution which we all want. Further discussion will take place at the May ECOFIN and Foreign Affairs Councils.The Council agreed on a mandate for the Commission to open negotiations with Hungary on a possible agreement on trade and economic cooperation. Negotiations are expected to begin in the near future.

Turkey's application to join the Community was referred by the Council to the Commission for their opinion, following the normal procedure under article 237 of the treaty of Rome.

The Commission reported to the Council on recent discussions with the Japanese Government on the problem of Japan's trade surplus. The Commission will shortly be making formal proposals for urgent action to prevent diversion of trade following the imposition by the United States of duties on Japanese electronic and other goods. The Council will discuss further action in accordance with an agreed timetable at its May, June and July meetings.

The Council approved guidelines for EC aid to Asia and Latin America. It also discussed relations between the Community and Yugoslavia and between the Community and Israel.

In political co-operation, Ministers agreed a statement by the Twelve on the situation in Sri Lanka, the text of which has been placed in the Library of the House.

I also attended, on 27 April, the first meeting of the Co-operation Council under the EC/Algeria cooperation agreement.