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Internal Market Council

Volume 210: debated on Tuesday 30 June 1992

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To ask the President of the Board of Trade what was the outcome of the Internal Market Council held on 18 June.

I represented the United Kingdom at the Internal Market Council in Luxembourg on 18 June. There was a heavily loaded agenda. The council reached agreement on the procurement of services by the utilities, thus completing the Community's public procurement regime. A common position was also agreed on a directive in the copyright area covering public lending rights and rental. I was obliged to abstain on this measure in view of the unnecessary reversal of the principle in the United Kingdom that it is the producer, rather than the director, who is the author of a film. I secured a transitional period until 1997 for the United Kingdom, during which the producer will retain rights as author of a film. The Commission agreed to carry out a study on this point before that date.My hon. Friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Corporate Affairs, attended the council for the discussion on the European company statute, where no decisions were reached. Considerable progress was made on the Community system for the authorisation of medicines.An important feature of the Council was a determined, if ultimately unsuccessful, effort by the Portuguese Chairman, Mr Martins, to achieve agreement on two linked proposals for a directive and a regulation on the export of cultural goods. The issue will be passed on to the British Presidency.