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The Governments  of  the  Member  States  and the  European  Commission  were
represented as follows:

Belgium:
Mr Herman VAN ROMPUY          Deputy Prime  Minister  and  Minister  for  the
                              Budget

Denmark:
Mr Jørgen ØSTRØM MØLLER       State Secretary, Foreign Affairs

Germany:
Mr Jürgen STARK               State Secretary, Federal Ministry of Finance

Greece:
Mr Alexandros PAPADOPOULOS    Minister for Finance

Spain:
Mr Pedro SOLBES MIRA          Minister for Economic Affairs and Finance
Mr Enrique Jesús MARTINEZ ROBLES   State Secretary for Finance

France:
Mr François d'AUBERT          State Secretary  to the  Minister for  Economic
                              Affairs  and Finance,  with responsibility  for
                              the budget

Ireland:
Mr Hugh COVENEY               Deputy Minister for Finance

Italy:
Mr Giuseppe VEGAS             State Secretary for the Treasury

Luxembourg:
Mr Marc FISCHBACH             Minister for the Budget

Netherlands:
Mr Michel PATIJN              State Secretary for Foreign Affairs

Austria:
Mr Alfred SCHULTES            Director-General, Ministry of Finance

Portugal:
Mr Norberto SEQUEIRA da ROSA  State Secretary for the Budget

Finland:
Mr Eino KEINÄNEN              State Secretary for Finance

Sweden:
Mrs Anitra STEEN              State Secretary for Finance

United Kingdom:
Mr David HEATHCOAT-AMORY      Paymaster General

Commission:
Mr Erkki LIIKANEN             Member

1996 BUDGETARY PROCEDURE

1.  The Council's  examination of the  preliminary draft  general budget  for
    1996 was preceded,  as every year,  by a meeting  with a delegation  from
    the  European  Parliament, led  by  Mr  Detlev SAMLAND, Chairman  of  the
    Committee on Budgets, and comprising:

    -   Mr TILLICH, 1st Vice-Chairman of the Committee on Budgets,
    -   Mr WILLOCKX, Vice-Chairman of the Committee on Budgets,
    -   Mr  ELLES,  Rapporteur  of the  Committee  on  Budgets for  operating
        expenditure,
    -   Mr   MIRANDA,  Rapporteur   of   the   Committee   on   Budgets   for
        administrative expenditure,
    -   Mr  COLOM I NAVAL,  Mr   CUNHA,  Mr FABRA VALLÉS,  Mr FABRE-AUBRESPY,
        Mrs GHILARDOTTI,    Mr KÖNIG,   Mr McCARTIN,   Mr MULDER,   Mr PRONK,
        Mr TOMLINSON, Mr WYNN, Committee on Budgets.

    At  the  meeting,   the  European  Parliament  representatives   stressed
    Parliament's priorities as regards the 1996 budget.

    The Members  of the Council reiterated the principles - budgetary rigour,
    sound    budgetary    discipline   and    good    cost-effectiveness   in
    particular - behind the  establishment of  the draft  budget in  economic
    circumstances which remained uncertain.

2.  Furthermore, pursuant  to the Interinstitutional  Agreement on  budgetary
    discipline  of   29 October 1993,   the  three   institutions   conducted
    conciliation proceedings to examine the results of  the trialogue meeting
    on 30 June 1995 between the President of the Council, representatives  of
    the   European  Parliament  and   the  Member  of   the  Commission  with
    responsibility for the budget.

    After  these  conciliation  proceedings,  the  three  institutions  noted
    agreement  by  the  two  arms  of  the  budgetary  authority on  all  the
    appropriations and  comments concerning  the EAGGF Guarantee Section  for
    1996.

    They also noted  that there was very  broad consensus on the  conclusions
    of  an interinstitutional working party set  up on 4 April on the subject
    of  certain measures  to  be  taken  to  rationalize  the  administrative
    expenditure of  the institutions.   Work in this  area would in  any case
    continue throughout the budgetary procedure.

    Consensus  also  existed,  moreover,  on  the  review  of  the  Financial
    Regulation applicable to  the general budget of the  European Communities
    to take  account in  particular of  the  new factors  resulting from  the
    Treaty on European Union.

3.  The Council then gave a first reading to the 1996 budget  on the basis of
    the  preparatory work  by  the  Committee on  Budgets  and the  Permanent
    Representatives Committee, the  results of which  it confirmed.  It  also
    decided  on a number  of matters  left open  at Permanent Representatives
    Committee  level.   In  its  deliberations, the  Council  paid particular
    attention to honouring the principles  stated to the European  Parliament
    delegation and took into account the criteria of budgetary discipline  in
    the Interinstitutional Agreement.

    As  a result of its  deliberations, the Council drew  up the draft budget
    for  1996 (see details overleaf) which  will be forwarded to the European
    Parliament for the continuation of the budgetary procedure.

Finally, the Council heard a presentation  by Mr LIIKANEN on the Commission's
communication on improving financial management.

The main features of the 1996 budget are as follows:

OVERALL AMOUNT OF EXPENDITURE RESULTING FROM THE COUNCIL'S DELIBERATIONS
(in million ECU - round figures)

Commitment appropriations (C/A)                  86.019,8

Payment appropriations (P/A)                     81.359,7

    including non-compulsory expenditure         (C/A)   42.595,4
                                                 (P/A)   37.927,2

The breakdown of the appropriations is as follows:
(in million ECU - round figures)                   C/A         P/A

1   Common agricultural policy                   40.828,0    40.828,0
  including 
  -   market expenses                            38.554,0    38.554,0
  -   flanking measures                           2.274,0     2.274,0

2   Structural measures                          29.131,0    25.750,0
  including
  -   Structural funds                         26.579,0    23.722,7
  -   Cohesion funds                            2.444,0     1.919,3

3   Internal policies                           5.082,0      4.842,1
  including
  -   research and technological development   3.228,1       3.104,0
  -   trans-European networks                    463,0          299,5

4   External measures                          5.103,6       4.064,3
  including
  -   CCEE                                     1.235,0       1.147,0
  -   Mediterranean third countries              900,0         583,5
  -   TACIS                                       525,0        435,0

5   Administrative expenditure of the institutions  4.022,3      4.022,3
  including                                    
  -   Commission                                    2.683,2      2.683,2
  -   Other institutions                            1.339,1      1.339,1

6   Reserves                                        1.152,0      1.152,0
  including
  -   monetary reserve                              500,0         500,0
  -   emergency aid reserve                         326,0         326,0
  -   reimbursements, guarantees, reserves          326,0         326,0

MISCELLANEOUS DECISIONS

(Adopted without debate.  Where these  are legislative acts, votes against or
abstentions are indicated).

Internal market

-   Protection of individuals with regard to data processing

  After agreeing to the amendments made by the  European Parliament at second
  reading,  the  Council  unanimously (with  the  United  Kingdom abstaining)
  adopted the Directive on  the protection of individuals with  regard to the
  processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data.

  Member States  have three years  in which to  transpose the Directive  into
  their national legislation.

  The Directive  is designed to establish a clear and stable legal framework,
  which is  essential for  the information  society to  develop  in a  manner
  acceptable to the European citizen.

  It   will  ensure  that  personal  data  can  move  freely  throughout  the
  Community,  but  prevent  the  distortions  of  competition  and  risks  of
  relocation of  undertakings that  might ensue,  by  securing an  equivalent
  high level of protection for  individuals with regard to processing of such
  data in all Member States.

  The  Directive places obligations on the users of data (individuals, public
  authorities, undertakings or  associations) and establishes rights for data
  subjects,  while leaving  the  Member  States some  room  for manoeuvre  as
  regards transposition into national legislation.

  The principles laid down by the Directive concern, in particular:

  -   the   conditions  under   which   the  processing   of   personal  data
      (collection, alteration, use, alignment or combination,  erasure, etc.)
      is legitimate;

  -   the  rights  of the  data  subject (right  to  be informed,  in various
      circumstances,  when data is  to be processed,  to be able  to find out
      what  the  data  is and  to  have  it  corrected  if  it  should  prove
      inaccurate, or to object to processing);

  -   data quality  (it  must be  accurate,  collected fairly  and  lawfully,
      recorded for specified, legitimate purposes, etc.);

  -   confidentiality and security of processing;

  -   appointment  by the  Member  States of  public  authorities to  monitor
      implementation of the Directive.

  The  Directive will cover the  private as well as  the public sector, apart
  from  activities  which do  not come  under  Community law  (such  as those
  stipulated  in the provisions of  the Treaty on European  Union on the CFSP
  and cooperation in the  fields of justice and  home affairs).  It  will not
  apply  either to processing  for the  purposes of  public security, defence
  and national security.

  For  processing carried out by the  institutions and bodies of the European
  Union  itself, the Council  and the  Commission considered  (in a statement
  entered  in the minutes) that,  in the interests  of consistent and uniform
  application of the protection  rules in the Union, such treatment should be
  subject  to the  same protection  principles  as those  laid  down in  this
  Directive.

  As  regards  the processing  of  data carried  out solely  for journalistic
  purposes or  the purpose  of artistic  or literary  expression, the  common
  position stipulates  that the  Member States  should provide the  necessary
  exemptions  to  reconcile the  right  to privacy  with the  rules governing
  freedom of expression.

  When the Directive  was adopted, the  Danish delegation made the  following
  statement to explain how it had voted:

        "Denmark  can  accept  the European  Parliament's  amendments  to the
        Directive and  can therefore agree to the  definitive adoption of the
        Directive by the Council.

        Denmark  nevertheless regrets  that  it has  not  proved possible  to
        reach  the  consensus needed  within  the  Council  for the  European
        Parliament to be  informed of the  content of the statements  entered
        in the  minutes.   Denmark  considers that  the request  made by  the
        President of the European Parliament to the President of the  Council
        (General Affairs) revealed  the need to  bring to a swift  conclusion
        the current discussions  on the publication of the statements entered
        in the minutes in  the interests of greater transparency of  the work
        of the Council."

  -   Safety of the occupants of buses and coaches

    Further  to  the  approval  of  its  common  position  by  the   European
    Parliament, the  Council adopted  the Directive  on the  approximation of
    the laws  of  the Member  States relating  to  the burning  behaviour  of
    materials used  in interior construction  of certain categories  of motor
    vehicles.

    The Directive is  aimed at providing  increased safety for the  occupants
    of  buses  and  coaches  carrying  more  than  22  passengers,  with  the
    exception  of those designed  to carry  standing passengers  or for urban
    use.   It lays down  the minimum requirements  for the materials  used in
    vehicle interiors  which are designed to  prevent, or at  the very least,
    to retard the spread of flames  so that occupants may vacate the vehicles
    in the event of fire.

    Member States have 18 months in which to transpose the Directive.

United States/Access to public contracts

The Council adopted  a Regulation completing the  Annex to Council Regulation
(EC) No 1461/93  which restricted  the access  of tenderers  from the  United
States  to European  Community public contracts  following measures  taken by
the United States against tenderers from the Community.

This Regulation  is  in response  to the  United States'  decision to  extend
their 1993 sanctions to the three new Member States.

Iceland, Norway, Switzerland/Trade questions

The Council authorized  the Commission to negotiate  with Iceland, Norway and
Switzerland protocols  adjusting certain  trade aspects  of agreements  which
those countries had concluded  with the European Community to take account of
the  reciprocal Uruguay Round commitments  relating to processed agricultural
products.

Pending   the   conclusion   of  those   negotiations,   and   following  the
implementation with effect from 1 July 1995 of the agreements  on agriculture
concluded  in  the course  of  the Uruguay  Round,  the  Council adopted  the
Regulation  establishing  certain measures  concerning  imports  of processed
agricultural products from  Iceland, Norway and Switzerland  in order to take
account of the results  of the Uruguay Round  negotiations.  In the  light of
that  Regulation and  provided  that those  three countries  adopt equivalent
measures,  the Community will  take unilateral  measures for  the period from
1 July to  31 December 1995  to  maintain the  current  level  of  reciprocal
preferences.

Norway/Imports of fisheries products

The  Council  decided to  conclude  an Additional  Protocol to  the Agreement
between the  European Community and the  Kingdom of Norway consequent  on the
accession  of  the  Republic of  Austria,  the  Republic of  Finland  and the
Kingdom of Sweden to the European Union.

The  purpose of  this Additional Protocol  to the  1973 EC-Norway  Free Trade
Agreement is to adjust the  arrangements for importation into the  EU of fish
products  originating  in  Norway.   It includes  zero-duty  Community tariff
quotas for certain fish and seafood  products, as well as provisions on rules
of  origin.   The  concessions  resulting from  these  quotas simply  reflect
traditional  trade patterns  in  exports  of the  products  in question  from
Norway to  the three  new Member  States between  1992 and  1994 and will  be
applicable from 1 July 1995.

ACP rum

The   Council   adopted  a   Regulation  opening   and   providing   for  the
administration  of  a  Community  tariff  quota  for  rum,  arrack and  tafia
originating in the ACP States (second half of 1995).

This  quota, which is exempt  from customs duties and  runs from 1 July until
31 December 1995, is for 207 414 hl  of pure  alcohol, 10 000 more than  last
year.

It should  also be  recalled that  last March the  Council took  decisions to
discontinue quotas with  effect from 1 January 1996 for OCT rum and ACP light
rum  and to  maintain a tariff  quota for  "traditional" ACP  rum until total
liberalization on  1 January 2000.    It  also  agreed to  a  draft  Decision
authorizing the French  Republic to apply  a reduced rate of  excise duty  on
"traditional" rum produced in its OD.

Croatia/Textiles

The Council  authorized the  Commission to open  negotiations with a  view to
the conclusion of a textiles agreement with Croatia.

EC-Turkey Association

The Council recorded  its agreement to the text  of the draft Decision  to be
adopted  by the  EC-Turkey  Association  Council  amending  Decision  No 1/94
concerning  the application of  Article 3 of  the Additional  Protocol to the
Ankara Agreement to goods obtained in the Member States of the Community.

The amendment adjusted  the rate of the  countervailing levy provided  for in
Article 3  of the  Additional Protocol  to be  applied by  the Member  States
following the tariff reductions made  by Turkey in the Community's favour  at
the beginning of 1995.

Customs Union

The Council adopted Regulations opening and  providing for the administration
of:

-   Community   tariff  quotas  bound  in   GATT  for  certain  agricultural,
    industrial   and  fisheries   products  and   establishing  the  detailed
    provisions for adapting these quotas;

-   Community  tariff   quotas  and   ceilings  and  establishing   Community
    surveillance  for certain  fish and fishery  products originating  in the
    Faroe  Islands  and  establishing the  detailed  provisions  for adapting
    these quotas;

-   Community  tariff  quotas  for   certain  agricultural,  industrial   and
    fisheries products  and amending  Regulation (EC) No 2878/94  opening and
    providing for the  administration of Community tariff quotas  for certain
    industrial products (fourth series 1995).

The Council  also decided  to accept,  on behalf  of the  Community and  with
immediate  effect, Resolution No 49 concerning  short-term measures to ensure
the safety and efficient  operation of TIR transit arrangements, adopted on 3
March by the UN/ECE Working Party on Customs Questions affecting Transport.

Readmission agreements

The Council adopted a  Recommendation on the principles  for the drafting  of
protocols  on the implementation of  readmission agreements to supplement the
Recommendation  which   it  adopted   on   30 November  and   1 December 1994
concerning  a specimen readmission  agreement for  Member States to  use as a
basis in concluding their readmission agreements with third countries.

These  guiding principles  - to  be  followed when  drawing  up protocols  on
implementing readmission  agreements - concern readmission procedures,  means
of  identifying  persons  to   be  admitted,  designation  of  the  competent
authorities, conditions for transit  of third-country nationals under escort,
data protection and conditions of applicability of the protocol.

Racism and xenophobia

The  Council  renewed the  detailed  mandate, composition  and status  of the
Consultative Commission against Racism  and Xenophobia, set up  following the
Corfu European Council, further to the decision taken  by the Cannes European
Council to extend its mandate until the end of 1995. 

The new  mandate is defined as follows: "To study,  in close cooperation with
the  Council of Europe,  the feasibility of  a European  Monitoring Centre on
Racism  and Xenophobia, entailing  the need  also to  extend the Consultative
Commission's   mandate  adopted   by   the   General   Affairs   Council   on
18 July 1994.".

Excessive government deficits

Further to the deliberations  of the  Economic and Financial Affairs  Council
on 10 July (see Press release  No 8686/95 - Presse 211), the Council formally
adopted  the Council's Recommendations with a  view to bringing an end to the
situation of an excessive public deficit.

Labour and social affairs

The  Council  formally   adopted  the  conclusions  on  the   importance  and
implications of  the  quality of  vocational training,  already published  in
Press Release No 8243/95 - Presse 199.

The Council was unanimous  (with the  United Kingdom and Italian  delegations
abstaining) in  its formal adoption  of its  common position with  a view  to
adopting the  Directive amending Directive 89/655/EEC of  30 November 1989 on
the  minimum safety and health requirements  for the use of work equipment by
workers at work.
This common  position will be sent  to the  European Parliament for  a second
reading as part of the cooperation procedure.
The main points are summarized in Press Release No 8243/95 - Presse 199.

Environment

The Council  approved, on  behalf of  the Community,  the  Convention on  the
protection  and use  of  transboundary watercourses  and  international lakes
(Helsinki Convention).
This Convention  was signed in  Helsinki on 18 March 1992.   Its main purpose
is to  establish a  framework for  bilateral or  multilateral cooperation  to
prevent  and  control  the pollution  of  transboundary  watercourses  and to
ensure the  rational use  of water resources  in the member  countries of the
United Nations Economic Commission for Europe.

The Council also  decided on the participation of  the Community, with regard
to matters  falling  within  its  competence,  in the  negotiations  for  the
adoption of  the  regional  agreement  on  the conservation  of  African  and
Eurasian  migratory waterbirds.   The negotiations  will be  conducted by the
Commission.

Fisheries

The Council  adopted a  Council Regulation (EC)  amending for  the 17th  time
Regulation (EEC) No 3094/86 laying  down certain technical  measures for  the
conservation of  fishery  resources.   The purpose  of  the amendment  is  to
incorporate definitively in the Annex  to the Regulation certain  derogations
hitherto decided on an annual basis.

Further to the  guidelines reached by the  Fisheries Council on 15 June 1995,
the  Council revised the directives  authorizing the  Commission to negotiate
in the  framework of the United Nations  Conference on Straddling Fish Stocks
and  Highly Migratory  Fish Stocks.    (See also  Press Release  No 8064/95 -
 Presse 181).

The  Council  adopted  the  Regulation  on  the  conclusion  of the  Protocol
establishing, for  the period  from 1 January 1994  to 31 December 1995,  the
fishing  rights  and financial  compensation  provided for  in the  Agreement
between the European Community and  the Government of the Republic  of Guinea
on fishing off the Guinean coast.

Telecommunications

European  Parliament and Council  Directive on the  use of  standards for the
transmission of television signals

The  Council  unanimously  adopted  the  Directive  after accepting  all  the
amendments  made  by  the  European  Parliament  to  its  common position  of
22 December 1994.

The  purpose of the Directive  is to repeal Directive  92/38/EEC in the light
of market  developments and  recent technical  advances: Directive  92/38/EEC
provided for  the switch from the current PAL and SECAM television systems to
HDTV  using  the  D2-MAC  and  HD-MAC   transmission  systems  applicable  to
satellite and cable broadcasting.  

The new Directive provides for Member States to take measures  to promote the
accelerated  development  of advanced  television  services  including  wide-
screen (16:9) television  services, high-definition  television services  and
television services using fully  digital transmission  systems.  To that  end
the Directive lays  down certain technical requirements  which all television
services transmitted to viewers, whether  by cable, satellite or  terrestrial
means, will  have to meet.  The Directive also defines  a series of rules for
conditional access to digital  Pay-TV, i.e. the procedure whereby  authorized
subscribers have access to coded TV signals.

Member  States will have nine  months to transpose the  Directive.  Repeal of
Directive 92/38/EEC will also take effect in nine months time.

When it  adopted its  common position, the  Council decided  to disclose  the
following statements:

(i) Statement on  the recital  referring  to the  general principle  of  open
    access to networks:

     "The Council and the Commission note that, according to the  conclusions
     of  the G7 Ministerial  Conference  on  the  Information  Society,  open
     access  should be  regulated  by  a framework  preventing  the abuse  of
     dominant  positions  and  constituting part  of  a  future comprehensive
     regulatory framework for  information services in  a liberalized  market
     structure,   comprising  competition  in  the   field  of  services  and
     infrastructures,    the    supply    of    universal    services,    the
     interconnectability  of networks  and  a fair  and effective  system for
     issuing licences."

(ii)Statement on  the provision  whereby Member  States shall  facilitate the
    transfer  of  wide-screen  television services  already  in  operation to
    digital transmission networks open to the public:

     "The Council TAKES NOTE of  the statement made by the  Commission during
     the  debate  on   the  adoption  of  this   amendment  in  the  European
     Parliament, to the  effect that it interprets this text  as not imposing
     binding obligations  on Member  States regarding the  transfer of  wide-
     screen television services  already in operation to digital transmission
     networks open to the public and it ENDORSES that interpretation.

     The  Council  TAKES  NOTE  that  during  the  same  debate the  European
     Parliament signified  its agreement  to the  Commission's interpretation
     of this text."

(iii)    Statement re  first indent  of  Article 4, point  (c), of  the  Directive
    dealing  with conditional  access to  digital television  and  reading as
    follows:

     "Member States shall take all the necessary measures to  ensure that the
     operators of conditional access services,  irrespective of the means  of
     transmission,  who  produce   and  market  access  services  to  digital
     television services:

     -  offer   to   all    broadcasters,   on   a   fair,   reasonable   and
        non-discriminatory   basis,    technical   services    enabling   the
        broadcasters'  digitally-transmitted  services  to   be  received  by
        viewers  authorized by means of  decoders administered by the service
        operators,  and comply with Community  competition law, in particular
        if a dominant position appears;".

     "The Council  and the Commission state that  the first indent of Article
     4, point (c): 

     -  applies  to any provider of conditional  access services operating on
        a cable, terrestrial  or satellite  broadcasting network in  relation
        to broadcasters who  have access to  that network under the  national
        procedures in force and wish to benefit from that conditional  access
        service;

     -  does not  seek to impose  an obligation to  offer to  any broadcaster
        access for television  services to  packages or  tiers of  television
        services configured and/or  administered by the provider, or services
        involving transparent distribution to subscribers;

     -  only requires  Member  States to  ensure that  broadcasters may  have
        access to  conditional access  services  and that  the obligation  in
        Article 4, point (c) does not extend to the underlying network.

     The  Council  and  the  Commission  note  with  satisfaction  that  this
     interpretation is confirmed by the debates in the European Parliament.

     Accordingly,  the Commission  confirms that  the Member  States  are not
     obliged,  when transposing  this Directive,  to take  measures which  go
     beyond   the  limited  and  proportionate   objectives  referred  to  in
     Article 4, point (c) as stated above." 

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