§ Mrs. Chalker
The Foreign Affairs Council met in Brussels on 23 January. My right hon. Friend the Minister of State represented the United Kingdom.
The council again discussed the dispute with the United States over the EC directive banning imports of hormone-treated meat. It called on the Commission to continue the action initiated in GATT to seek condemnation of United States unilateral retaliatory measures, but also to continue bilateral contacts with the United States Administration to secure a negotiated settlement of the dispute. While approving a revised list of Community counter-retaliation measures, it agreed to defer the question of their implementation for further consideration, at its meeting in February, in the light of progress in GATT and bilaterally.
The council reviewed EC/EFTA co-operation, and called for a further strengthening of the relationship. To this end the EFTA countries will be invited to an informal ministerial meeting in March. The United Kingdom welcomes such moves.
Taking account of the Community's close relations with Cyprus and Malta, the council agreed on new financial protocols to be offered to the two countries, providing generous levels of grant aid and access to El B loans.
The Presidency introduced the Commission draft directive on the right to vote in local elections. Substantive discussion was deferred.
Meeting as a conference of representatives of the member states, Ministers agreed on the appointment as vice-presidents of the Commission for 1989–90 of Mr. Frans Andriessen, Mr. Martin Bangemann, Sir Leon Brittan, Mr. Henning Christophersen, Mr. Manuel Marin and Mr. Filippo Pandolfi.