§ Mr. Nelson
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will publish in the Official Report a statement of forthcoming business in the European Community Council of Ministers.
§ Mr. Pym
At present six meetings of the Council of Ministers are planned for May. The usual written forecast was deposited in the House on 28 April.
The Finance Council is expected to meet on 16 May to continue to consider the draft seventh company law directive on consolidated accounts and the draft non-life insurance services directive. Ministers may continue their discussions on how to promote investment in the Community and may also consider the implementation of the decision to contract loans under the new community instrument III.
The Agriculture Council is next expected to meet on 16 and 17 May when it will continue its discussion of CAP price fixing. It is expected to consider the welfare of battery hens; long-term contracts with third countries; and possibly the reform of the agricultural arrangements for Mediterranean produce including fruit and vegetables and olive oil.
The Foreign Affairs Council is due to meet on 24 May when it is expected to discuss the future financing of the Community with a view to reporting conclusions, both on long term reform and on an interim budget solution, to the 6/7 June European Council; the Commission's report on action to be taken on the Greek memorandum; Greenland's application to withdraw from the Community; and provisions of the association agreements with Cyprus and with Malta. It will continue its discussions of a revised European regional development fund regulation and of the Community's position at UNCTAD VI to be held in Belgrade in June.
Ministers are expected to consider both Portuguese accession, in preparation for a ministerial conference in 390W the margins of the Council, and relations with Yugoslavia, in preparation for an EC-Yugoslavia co-operation council also due to be held in the margins.
The Council may discuss the results of the United Nations sugar conference.
The Development Council will meet on 25 May and is expected to discuss Community food strategies, food aid policy and a draft implementing regulation for a special programme to combat hunger in the world. Depending on whether work has progressed far enough discussion could also include north-south trade promotion, the coordination of development policies, the annual report on the activities of non-governmental organisations and the re-negotiation of the Lomé convention.
The Steel Council is expected to meet on 25 May to discuss aids and restructuring of the market, the article 58 quota regime and general pricing policy.
A General Affairs Council (Internal Market) is due to meet on 26 May. It is expected to consider the easing of formalities at the Community's internal frontiers; the proposal for a single administrative document for customs processing; Community certification for imports from third countries and the proposal for a common commercial policy regulation.