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European Union: Business and Events

Lord Monkswell asked Her Majesty's Government:

Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean: Monthly forecast of business for February 1998

The following Councils are scheduled:

February 12BrusselsResearch Council
February 16BrusselsEcofin Council
February 16-17BrusselsAgriculture Council
February 23-24BrusselsGeneral Affairs Council
February 26BrusselsTelecom Council

The following subjects are likely to be discussed:

February 12: Research Council

    Proposal for a Council decision on the Fifth Framework Programme of the European Atomic Energy Community for research and training activities (1998-2002): Political agreement.

    Article 130j decision--rules of participation: Exchange of views (possible item).

    Divers--Working document on the specific programmes: Progress report by the Commission (possible item).

    A points.

February 16: Ecofin Council

    Agenda not yet available.

February 16-17: Agriculture Council

    Organisation for Economic Coordination and Development Agriculture Ministerial: EU Coordination.

    Reform of the tobacco regime: Commission presentation.

    Reform of the olive oil regime: Commission presentation.

    Operation of ewe premium: Report.

    Agrimony developments 1996-97: Report.

    Laying hens in battery cages (possible item).

    Veterinary equivalence agreements (possible item).

February 23-24: General Affairs Council


    Lome: Orientation discussion.

    Estonia: Adoption of EU position for Association Council (possible A point).

    Latvia: Adoption of EU position for Association Council (possible A point).

2 Feb 1998 : Column WA95

    Lithuania: Adoption of EU position for Association Council (possible A point).

    EU/Malta: Commission Communication on future relations (possible item).

    EU/Russia Summit: Information point.

    ASEM II: Progress Report following senior officials meeting.

    Western Balkans.

    Middle East Peace Process.

    Cyprus (possible item).

    Belarus (possible item).

    Generalised System of Preferences: Extension of Lome trade terms to Non-ACP Least Developed Countries.

    Generalised System of Preferences: Social/ environmental incentive clause (possible A point).

    Third Country meetings in margins: Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia Association Councils.

February 26: Telecom Council

    Commission Communication to the European Parliament and the Council on an International Charter for Global Commmunications: Debate and (possible) Conclusions.

    Green paper on the implications for the regulatory framework of convergence between telecommunications, audiovisual and information technology: Open debate.

    Proposal for a European Parliament and Council Directive on connected telecommunications equipment and the mutual recognition of the conformity of equipment: (possible) Common Position.

    Commission Communication on the implementation of telecommunications legislation: Presentation (possible item).

    Proposal for a European Parliament and Council Decision on universal mobile telecommunications system: Presentation (possible item).

    Proposal for a European Parliament and Council Directive on digital signatures and security of communications: Presentation (possible item).

    Commission Communication on the century date change problem: Presentation (possible item).

European Calendar: February-July 1998

This calendar is primarily concerned with European Union matters, but certain other relevant events are also included. Events and dates quoted are based on the information available on the date of issue.

February 1998
3BrusselsPolitical Committee
9-11Costa RicaEU/San Jose Group
11-12BrusselsSelect Committee on Trade & Industry visit
12BrusselsResearch Council
12-13PanamaEU/Rio Group
12-13LondonPolitical Committee
13-15CambridgeInternal Market (Informal)
16BrusselsEcofin Council
16-17BrusselsAgriculture Council
16-20StrasbourgEuropean Parliament Plenary
23-24BrusselsGeneral Affairs Council
26BrusselsTelecom Council
March 1998
3BrusselsPolitical Committee
9BrusselsEcofin Council (t.b.c.)
9-10ManchesterUK Presidency Conference
9-13StrasbourgEuropean Parliament Plenary
12-13LondonJoint Social & Education (Informal)
14-15EdinburghForeign Ministers' Informal
15-17MacclesfieldSeminar for Cultural and Audiovisual Ministers
16-17BrusselsAgriculture Council
17BrusselsTransport Council
19BrusselsPolitical Committee
19BrusselsJustice & Home Affairs Council
20-22YorkEcofin Informal
23BrusselsEnvironment Council
24BrusselsFisheries Council
30BrusselsInternal Market Council
30-31BrusselsGeneral Affairs Council
30-31StrasbourgEuropean Parliament Plenary
31-1 AprilMoscowGB Energy Ministerial
April 1998
1-3StrasbourgEuropean Parliamentary Plenary
2-4LondonASEM II
6LuxembourgSocial Affairs Council
6-8BirminghamAudiovisual Conference
7BrusselsPolitical Committee
16BrusselsPolitical Committee
20-21LuxembourgAgriculture Council
21LuxembourgEcofin Council
23LuxembourgConsumer Affairs Council
24-26ChesterEnvironment & Transport (Informal)
27-28LuxembourgGeneral Affairs Council
29-30BrusselsEuropean Parliament
30LuxembourgHealth Council
May 1998
1-3BrusselsEcofin & Special EMU Council
5BrusselsPolitical Committee (t.b.c.)
7BrusselsIndustry Council
10-12NewcastleAgriculture (Informal)
11BrusselsEnergy Council
11BrusselsEuro-Med Energy Ministerial
12BrusselsPolitical Committee
11-15StrasbourgEuropean Parliamentary Plenary
14-16LondonConference on Culture and Employment
15-17BirminghamG7/8 Summit
18LondonEU/US Summit
18BrusselsDevelopment Council
18BrusselsInternal Market
19BrusselsTelecommunication Council
25-26BrusselsGeneral Affairs Council
25-26BrusselsAgriculture Council
27-28BrusselsEuropean Parliament Plenary
28BrusselsCulture and Audiovisual Council
28-29BrusselsJustice & Home Affairs Council
June 1998
2LuxembourgPolitical Committee
4LuxembourgEducation & Social Affairs Council
8LuxembourgFisheries Council
8-9LuxembourgGeneral Affairs Council (t.b.c.)
15-16CardiffEuropean Council
15-19StrasbourgEuropean Parliament Plenary
16-17LuxembourgEnvironment Council
17LuxembourgJoint Environment & Transport Council
18LuxembourgTransport Council
22LuxembourgResearch Council
22-23LuxembourgAgriculture Council
29-30LuxembourgGeneral Affairs Council (t.b.c.)
July 1998
6BrusselsEcofin Council
6-7LuxembourgPolitical Committee
8-10LuxembourgEmployment/Social Affairs/Women (Informal)
13LuxembourgPolitical Committee
13-14LuxembourgGeneral Affairs Council
17-19LuxembourgEnvironment Council (Informal)
20-21LuxembourgAgriculture Council
23LuxembourgPolitical Committee
27LuxembourgBudget Council

2 Feb 1998 : Column WA97

BBC Monitoring Service: Funding

Lord Kennet asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they propose to set an external financing limit for the BBC monitoring service in 1997-98.[HL361]

Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean: The external financing limit for 1997-98 for the BBC monitoring service will be set at £1,183,000. The creation of the EFL reflects the change in the funding arrangements of the BBC World Service Monitoring Service from grant in aid to subscription based funding, as announced by my honourable Friend the Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, Derek Fatchett, on 5 November 1997. (Vol: 300, Hansard, Commons, col. 201).

Interdepartmental Working Groups

Lord Lucas asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What inter-departmental working groups have been set up which include representatives from the Department of International Development; and what their membership and remits are.[HL373]

Lord Whitty: A ministerial inter-departmental working group on development, chaired by the Secretary of State for International Development, has been set up to promote the coherent approach to development set out in the Government's White Paper. Department for International Development (DFID), Foreign and Commonwealth Office, H M Treasury, Department of Trade and Industry, Department for the Environment, Transport and the Regions, Ministry of Agriculture Fisheries and Food, the Department of Health, Department for Education and Employment,

2 Feb 1998 : Column WA98

Cabinet Office and the Export Credit Guarantee Department are members. DFID is also represented at meetings of the EU Presidency task force, chaired by the Foreign Secretary and attended by interested departments as appropriate.

In addition, DFID is represented at official level in inter-departmental working groups, on a wide range of issues including trade and development, energy and climate change, world health, countries with economies in transition, science and technology, the Lome Convention and UNESCO. Membership of these groups varies according to the subject matter.

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