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Council Of Ministers

Volume 126: debated on Monday 1 February 1988

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To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on forthcoming business in the European Community Council of Ministers.

The usual forecast was deposited in the House earlier today. At present nine meetings of the Council of Ministers are planned for February.The Internal Market Council meets on 2 February to discuss a number of measures relevant to the completion of the single European market.On 2 February, European Community and European Free Trade Association Ministers will meet to discuss mutual co-operation in tackling trade barriers as the European Community makes progress on completion of the single market.The Economic and Finance Council will meet on 9 February to discuss the Commission's proposals on the liberalisation of capital movements.The Agriculture Council is expected to meet on 8–9 February to discuss hormones (article 7 derogation); beef balance sheets for 1988; an amendment to the rules for granting olive oil production aid and the setting of the percentage of aid which may be retained by producer organisations to cover expenses.The European Council, which will be held in Brussels on 11–12 February, will concentrate on the Community's financial situation, including the reform of the common agricultural policy.The Foreign Affairs Council meets on 22–23 February to discuss preparations for the forthcoming meeting with Foreign Ministers of the Central American and Contadora group countries; and the commitment made at Punta del Este concerning the rollback of existing restrictions that are inconsistent with the GATT.The Budget Council will meet on 23–24 February to continue discussions on the establishment of a draft budget for 1988.The Fisheries Council meets on 29 February to consider discussions between the European Community and Morocco on a fisheries agreement; European Community tariff quotas; amendments to the marketing regime; and technical conservation.The fourth in a series of meetings between European Community, Central American and Contadora group Foreign Ministers will be held from 29 February to 1 March. Discussions will cover the whole range of the Community's relations with Central America and, in particular, progress on the peace process.