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EU: Competitiveness Council

Volume 715: debated on Monday 30 November 2009


My right honourable friend the Minister of State (Higher Education and Intellectual Property) has today made the following Statement.

The EU Competitiveness Council will take place in Brussels on 3 and 4 December and this Statement covers the business to be taken at the council. Kevin Brennan, BIS Minister for Consumer Affairs, will represent the UK on consumer issues on 3 December, I shall represent the UK on patents and other issues on 4 December and Andy Lebrecht, the UK's Deputy Permanent Representative to the EU, will represent the UK when a Minister is not in attendance.

The main items on the agenda are agreement on an enhanced patent system for Europe, proposals for a consumer rights directive, a council regulation on a European private company statute, progress on better regulation and Competitiveness Council contributions to the post-2010 Lisbon agenda on EU competitiveness.

Other substantive items include the adoption of a council resolution on enhanced governance of the European research area, on future priorities for European research and research-based innovation, the future of information communications technology (ICT) research, and progress on joint programming, in particular through a joint programming initiative to fight neurodegenerative diseases, particularly Alzheimer’s.

The consumer-related any other business (AOB) items will be dealt with on 3 December after the policy debate on the consumer rights directive. I have set out below the other AOB items:

AOB items

Information from the Commission on the international thermonuclear experimental reactor (ITER) project.

Commission communication on investing in the development of a low-carbon technologies strategic energy technology (SET) plan).

Commission information on a proposal for a European Parliament and council decision on participation in a joint Baltic Sea research and development programme undertaken by several member states.

Communication on global monitoring for environment and security (GMES): challenges and next steps for the space component.

Declaration of Czech Republic, Hungary and Romania on the integrated proposal to implement project ELI (extreme light infrastructure) of the ESFRI (European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures) Roadmap.

Presentation by Commission on cross-border business to consumer e-commerce in the EU.

Presidency information on the Stockholm conference of 4 November 2009, “Consumer rights when purchasing digital content”.

Belgian delegation request on latest developments regarding Opel and GM.

Presidency information on legal framework for gambling and betting in EU member states.

Presidency information on proposal for a regulation laying down harmonised conditions for the marketing of construction products.

Better regulation presentation of a practical exercise on sharing good examples.

Google books—information from the Commission.

Work programme of the incoming presidency from the Spanish delegation.

The Government's main aims will be:

to agree a resolution to strengthen the political governance of the European research area and adopt conclusions on carrying forward joint programming initiatives such as fighting neurodegenerative diseases and on providing guidance on future priorities for research and innovation in the post-2010 Lisbon strategy;

to support the aims of the consumer rights directive but ensure that it meets an appropriate level of consumer protection;

to reach agreement on an enhanced patent system in Europe; and

to provide UK support for an EU post-Lisbon 2010 competitiveness strategy that will focus on economic growth, skills and innovation, and a strong EU single market.