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Council Of Ministers

Volume 175: debated on Tuesday 3 July 1990

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To ask 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 Foreign Affairs Council will meet on 16 and 17 July. Ministers will discuss how to carry forward work on institutional reform on the basis of the agenda approved by the Dublin European Council. Ministers will also have a short discussion of economic and monetary union and possibly of presidency plans for the social action plan. They will hold an orientation debate on development co-operation. Ministers will discuss assistance to central and eastern Europe against the background of political and economic reform, and will review Community relations with Romania. The Council will further discuss the Commission's proposals on developing the Community's relations with Yugoslavia. It may also again discuss proposals for strengthening EC relations with the Mediterranean countries in general. Discussion is also expected on EC aid to Chile and Colombia, Namibia's application for accession to the Lomé convention and the Communities' position on the forthcoming Paris conference on least-developed countries. The Council will discuss the GATT Uruguay round and will look forward to the Trade Negotiation Committee in Geneva the following week. It is possible that Ministers will discuss EC/EFTA relations, and will consider whether or not to call a Youth Council later in the year. The Council will discuss preparations for a meeting of the EC/Malta Association Council which will take place in the margins of the Foreign Affairs Council. It is expected that the Maltese Foreign Minister will present Malta's application for EC membership.The Internal Market Council will meet on 17 July. We expect discussion of a number of measures relevant to the completion of the single market. The "utilities directive" liberalising public procurement in the water, energy, transport and telecommunications sectors is close to adoption, but may not be ready for adoption at the Council. The last IMC of the Irish presidency completed consideration of a number of outstanding items: hence the current agenda is thinner than usual.The Economic and Finance Council will meet on 23 July. On 8 May 1990, the Commission published its technical proposals for VAT, mutual assistance and intra-trade statistics based on the agreements reached at ECOFIN at the end of 1989. The Council will have an initial discussion of these proposals. There will be a discussion of the state of preparations for the intergovernmental conference on economic and monetary union.The Agriculture Council will meet on 23 and 24 July and may discuss the welfare of pigs and calves, reform of the dried grape regime, non-food uses of agricultural products, aromatised wines, organic production, pathogens in feedingstuffs and poultry and hatching eggs.The Budget Council will meet on 26 or 27 July to consider the 1991 preliminary draft budget submitted by the Commission.