§ Mr. George Gardiner
asked the Lord Privy Seal if he will publish in the Official Report a statement of forthcoming business in the European Community Council of Ministers.
§ Mr. Humphrey Atkins
At present three meetings of the Council of Ministers are planned for February 1982. The usual written forecast was deposited in the House on 28 January.
The Finance Council is expected to meet on 15 February to discuss the economic situation in the Community and the allowances from VAT on goods purchased tax-paid by travellers from other European Community countries. In preparation for the next meeting of the European Council, the Commission is expected to present a report on the future development of the European monetary system.
The Agriculture Council is expected to meet on 15–16 February for a first discussion of the Commission's 1982–83 CAP price fixing proposals if they have by then been tabled. Ministers may also discuss changes in Mediterranean agriculture in the context of the enlargement of the Community and alterations in the level of interest rate subsidies provided for by directive 72/159 on the modernisation of farms.
The Foreign Affairs Council is expected to meet on 22 February. Subjects that may come up for discussion include a regulation to provide the basis for the funding of social measures for redundant steel workers; a proposal to extend the existing coking coal decision for a further two years; Community ratification of the sixth international tin agreement. Ministers will also consider aid to non-associated developing countries in Africa; conciliation between the European Parliament and the Council on the text of a management regulation for the Community's food aid programme; the Japanese response to the list of requests put to Japan by the Community in December and an evaluation of the Community's relations with Central America. In addition, there is likely to be discussion of the results of soundings now being made by the President of the Council and the President of the Commission on the 30 May mandate.