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EU: Competitiveness Council

Volume 687: debated on Thursday 30 November 2006

My honourable friend the Minister of State (Malcolm Wicks) has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

I will be attending the Competitiveness Council in Brussels on 4 December. Mauri Pekkarinen, Finnish Minister for Trade and Industry, will chair the council.

The first item on the agenda will be the proposal for a modernised customs code. The Finnish presidency has prepared a discussion paper. The aim is to hold a policy debate on the issues in the discussion paper in order to move the negotiations forward.

The next item on the agenda is on the Lisbon strategy and innovation policy. There will be a presentation from the presidency and the Commission on the communication: Putting Knowledge into practice: A broad-based innovation strategy for the EU. Council conclusions have been prepared on this item and the aim is that these conclusions will be adopted following a policy debate.

A presentation and exchange of views will then follow on better regulation, with the presidency's progress report and the Commission communication on A Strategic, Review of Better Regulation in the EU as the subject.

The next item on the agenda is the consumer credit directive. The presidency may hold a brief policy discussion on this issue.

Nine items will be taken under “any other business”:

(i) Pharmaceutical Forum (Information from the Commission)

(ii) Commission Communication on External Aspects of Competitiveness: Global Europe: competing in the world (Information from the presidency)

(iii) EU-US Informal Economic Ministerial Meeting (Information from the presidency)

(iv) European Competitiveness Report 2006 (Presentation from the Commission)

(v) Joint Technology Initiatives and Implementation of Article 169 (Information from the Commission)

(vi) Review of the Consumer Acquis (Information from the Commission)

(vii) Common Frame of Reference (Information from the Commission)

(viii) Review of the Timeshare Directive (Information from the Commission)

(ix) Information on the state of play on suspension of import duties on primary aluminium (Request from the Polish delegation and information from the Commission)