To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will publish a statement of forthcoming business in the European Community Council of Ministers.
The information is as follows:
Council of Ministers business for April 1993
1. The following meetings are planned:
- 5 April: Foreign Affairs Council
- 5 April: Internal Market Council
- 6 April: Employment and Social Affairs Council
- 19 April: ECOFIN Council
- 23 April: Energy/Environment Council
- 26–27 April: Agriculture Council
- 29 April: Research Council
2. The following subjects are likely to be discussed:
(a) Foreign Affairs Council—5 April
- Commission opinion on Norway and preparation of opening negotiating session
- Relations with Russia
- Relations with Slovenia
- Trade Policy questions
(b) Internal Market Council—5 April
- Duration of Copyright (5509/92)
- Cable and Satellite broadcasting copyright (8331/91)
- CE Mark regulation (6827/91)
- Directive on braking of two or three wheeled motor vehicles (4946/92)
- Directive amending Directive 89/392/EEC on machinery
- Directive on Statutory Markings for two or three wheeled motor vehicles (5331/91)
- Additional measures concerning the official control of foodstuffs (4690/92)
- Directive on sweeteners for use in foodstuffs (7726/92)
- Public supply contracts (8746/92)
(c) Labour and Social Affairs Council—6 April
- Biological agents Directive (8075/92; 5058/93) Working time Directive (590/91; 8145/92)
- Fishing Vessels Directive (9482/91; 8731/92)
- Protection of Young Workers Directive (5378/92; 4690/92)
- European Works Councils Directive (4466/91; 8319/91)
- Employment (open session)
(d) ECOFIN Council: 19 April—(provisional agenda)
- Economic recovery in Europe
- Interinstitutional Agreement on budget discipline
- Euratom loans to improve the degree of efficiency and safety of nuclear power stations in the countries of Central and Eastern Europe and in the Commonwealth of Independent States (possible)
- Community guarantee to the EIB against losses under loans for projects in Albania (possible)
- 7th VAT Directive
- Proposal for a Council Directive on deposit-guarantee schemes
- Company taxation (possible)
(e) Energy/Environment Council—23 April
- Community Strategy on Climate change (including CO2/Energy tax) (7018/92)
(f) Agriculture Council—26/27 April
- Price-fixing proposals (COM(93)36)
- Milk Quotas (5466/93)
- GATT Agriculture
- Sugar (4632/93; 5278/93)
- Greek Tobacco (5018/93) (possible)
- Potatoes (10483/93; 4613/93) (possible)
(g) Research Council-29 April
- Agenda unavailable
3. The Foreign Affairs Council will meet on 5–6 April. EC Foreign Ministers will consider a revised negotiating mandate for partnership and co-operation agreements with the States of the former Soviet Union. Ministers will also consider a negotiating mandate for new Europe Agreements with the successor Czech and Slovak Republics, as the Europe agreement signed with Czechoslovakia in December 1991 was not ratified prior to the country's dissolution at the beginning of 1993. Ministers will agree to open accession negotiations with Norway.
4. The Internal Market Council will meet on 5 April and will discuss statutory markings and braking for two and three wheeled vehicles; CE mark regulation; cable and satellite broadcasting copyright and duration of copyright. Ministers will also discuss directives on the official control of foodstuffs and sweeteners for use in foodstuffs. Public supply contracts and the final adoption of the directive on machinery will also be discussed.
5. A formal meeting of the Labour and Social Affairs Council is planned for 6 April. The agenda has not been finalised, but the directives on biological agents, working time, and fishing vessels are likely to be discussed. A policy debate will also be held on the directives on protection of young workers and European Works Council. There is likely to be an open session on employment.
6. The Economic and Finance Council will meet on 19 April to discuss action to promote recovery in Europe resulting from the initiative launched by the Edinburgh European Council. It will also discusss the negotiations between the Council, the Presidency and European Parliament on a new inter-institutional agreement on budget discipline. The Council may also discuss a draft directive on company taxation concerning interest/royalties. The proposal to amend the 7th VAT Directive (Special VAT regime for second-hand goods, works of art, antique and collectors' items) is also scheduled for further discussion. It is possible, but unlikely, that there will also be discussions of EURATOM loans for nuclear safety in central and eastern Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States, EIB loans for projects in Albania, and the proposed Council directive on deposit-guarantee schemes.
7. A joint Energy/Environment Council will be held on 23 April. The Council will discuss the Community's strategy on climate change, including the proposals for a tax on carbon dioxide emissions and energy.
8. The Agriculture Council will meet on 26 and 27 April. Ministers will discuss the 1993–94 price-fixing proposals; milk quotas; the agricultural aspects of the GATT negotiations and sugar. They may also discuss Greek tobacoo and the review of the potato regime.
9. The Research Council will meet on 29 April. At present, the agenda is not available.