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European Council Of Ministers

Volume 409: debated on Friday 18 July 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many informal meetings of the European Council of Ministers took place (a) between 1 July 2002 and 31 December 2002 and (b) between 1 January 2003 and 30 June 2003; when these meetings took place; what topics were discussed at these meetings; and if he will make a statement. [126106]

Seven informal meetings of the Council of Ministers took place between 1 July 2002 and 31 December 2002, on the following dates and covering the following topics:

  • 12–13 July on Employment and Social Policy;
  • 19–21 July on Environment issues;
  • 1 September on Foreign Affairs (Gymnich Informal Meeting of Ministers for Foreign Affairs);
  • 6–8 September on Finance (informal ECOFIN Council);
  • 8–10 September on Agriculture and Fisheries;
  • 12–13 September on Justice and Home Affairs;
  • 18–19 October on the Internal Market, Consumer Affairs and Industry.
Thirteen informal Council meetings took place between 1 January 2003 and 30 June 2003, on the following dates and subjects:

  • 24 January on Employment;
  • 22 February on Energy;
  • 14–15 February on Defence;
  • 28–29 March on Justice and Home Affairs;
  • 5 April on Education;
  • 11–13 April on Finance (informal ECOFIN Council);
  • 2–4 May on Foreign Affairs (Gymnich Informal Meeting Ministers for Foreign Affairs);
  • 5 May on Environment issues;
  • 12–13 May on Agriculture and Fisheries;
  • 16–17 May on Regional Policy;
  • 24 May on Culture:
  • 31 May-2 June on Merchant Marine;
  • 6 June on Public Administration.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many informal meetings of the European Council of Ministers took place between 1st January 2002 and 30th June 2002; when these meetings took place; what issues were discussed at each of these meetings; which members of the Scottish Executive were present at each meeting; and if he will make a statement. [126116]

Eleven informal meetings of the Council of Ministers took place during the Spanish Council presidency in 2002, on the following dates and covering the following topics:

  • 25–26 January on Employment;
  • 9–10 February on Foreign Affairs (Gymnich Informal Meeting of Ministers for Foreign Affairs);
  • 14–15 February on Justice and Home Affairs;
  • 22–23 February on Telecoms and the Information Society;
  • 23–24 March on Defence;
  • 13–14 April on Finance (ECOFIN);
  • 27–30 April on Agriculture and Fisheries;
  • 3–4 May on Tourism;
  • 24–26 May on Environment issues;
  • 31 May-1 June on Transport.
No members of the Scottish Executive were present at the informal meetings of the Council of Ministers. Devolved administration Ministers do not normally attend informal Council meetings, but do attend formal ones.