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General Affairs Council

Volume 631: debated on Thursday 16 November 2017

My hon. Friend Lord Callanan, Minister of State for Exiting the European Union, has made the following statement:

I will be attending the General Affairs Council in Brussels on 20 November 2017 to represent the UK’s interests. Until we leave the European Union, we remain committed to fulfilling our rights and obligations as a full member.

The provisional agenda includes:

Preparation of the European Council, 14 and 15 December 2017

There will be a discussion on the agenda for the December European Council. This includes: defence, focusing on the launch of PESCO (permanent structured co-operation) and a review of EU-NATO co-operation; social, education and culture, which includes a follow up to the November Gothenburg social summit; migration, involving a leaders’ debate on both the internal and external dimensions of migration as part of Donald Tusk’s leader’s agenda; and external relations.

European Council follow-up

The presidency will give an update on the implementation of the October European Council conclusions on migration, digital Europe, security and defence, and external relations.

Legislative programming—Commissions work programme for 2018 (CWP 2018)

Commission First Vice-President Frans Timmermans will present the CWP 2018, which sets out the legislation and other initiatives that the Commission intends to present to the Council of Ministers and European Parliament over the coming year.

Interinstitutional agreements (IIA) implementation

The presidency will lay out what progress has been made on the interinstitutional agreement on better law-making (IIA), signed by the Presidents of the European Council, Commission and Parliament in April 2016. The IIA set out the commitments of these institutions regarding better regulation, interinstitutional relations and the legislative process.

European semester 2018

The presidency will introduce the timetable for the European semester 2018, which will provide a framework for the co-ordination of economic policies across the EU.