Navigation path

Left navigation

Additional tools

Other available languages: FR

SUMMARY

PARTICIPANTS  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   3

ITEMS DISCUSSED

PRESIDENCY PROGRAMME - PUBLIC DEBATE  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   5

APPLICATION BY SLOVENIA FOR ACCESSION TO THE EUROPEAN UNION . . . . . . .   5

CYPRUS  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   5

RELATIONS WITH SWITZERLAND - COUNCIL CONCLUSIONS  . . . . . . . . . . . .   6

FORMER YUGOSLAVIA - COUNCIL CONCLUSIONS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   7

RUSSIA - COUNCIL CONCLUSIONS  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   9

MIDDLE EAST PEACE PROCESS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   9

MEDA - FINANCIAL REGULATION . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  10

TURKEY  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  11

MYANMAR/BURMA - COUNCIL CONCLUSIONS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  12

BURUNDI - COUNCIL DECLARATION . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  13

EXTENSION OF THE MANDATE FOR THE SPECIAL ENVOY OF THE EU  . . . . . . . .  13

HELMS-BURTON ACT - COUNCIL CONCLUSIONS  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  14

TRADE QUESTIONS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  15

NIGERIA - COUNCIL CONCLUSIONS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  18

5th MINISTERIAL MEETING OF THE INTERGOVERNMENTAL CONFERENCE . . . . . . .  19

ITEMS ADOPTED WITHOUT DISCUSSION

Public debates  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   I

Justice and Home Affairs  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  II

External Relations  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  II

CECA  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   V

Education . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  VI

Social Affairs  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  VI

Environment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  VI

Internal Market . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  VI

Transeuropean Transport Network . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   VII

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

Belgium:
Erik DERYCKE                  Minister for Foreign Affairs
Philippe MAYSTADT             Deputy  Prime  Minister, Minister  for  Finance
                              and Foreign Trade

Denmark:
Niels HELVEG PETERSEN         Minister for Foreign Affairs
Jorgen ØRSTROM-MØLLER         State Secretary for Foreign Affairs

Germany:
Klaus KINKEL                  Minister for Foreign Affairs
Werner HOYER                  Minister of State, Foreign Affairs
Lorenz SCHOMERUS              State Secretary,  Federal Ministry of  Economic
                              Affairs

Greece:
Theodoros PANGALOS            Minister for Foreign Affairs
Georgios ROMAIOS              Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs

Spain:
Abel MATUTES                  Minister for Foreign Affairs
Ramón de MIGUEL               State Secretary for European Affairs
José Manuel FERNÁNDEZ 
NORNIELLA                     State Secretary for Trade

France:
Hervé de CHARETTE             Minister for Foreign Affairs
Michel BARNIER                Minister   with   special  responsibility   for
                              European Affairs
Yves GALLAND                  Minister  attached to the Minister for Economic
                              Affairs  and Finance,  with responsibility  for
                              Finance and Foreign Trade

Ireland:
Dick SPRING                   Minister for Foreign Affairs
Gay MITCHELL                  Minister  of  State  for  European  Affairs and
                              Local  Development  at the  Department  of  the
                              Taoiseach
Enda KENNY                    Minister for Tourism and Trade

Italy:
Lamberto DINI                 Minister for Foreign Affairs
Augusto FANTOZZI              Minister for External Trade

Luxembourg:
Jacques POOS                  Minister for Foreign Affairs

Netherlands:
Hans VAN MIERLO               Minister for Foreign Affairs
Michiel PATIJN                State Secretary for Foreign Affairs

Austria:
Wolfgang SCHÜSSEL             Minister for Foreign Affairs
Johann FARNLEITNER            Federal Minister for Economic Affairs

Portugal:
Jaime GAMA                    Minister for Foreign Affairs
Francisco SEIXAS da COSTA     State Secretary for European Affairs

Finland:
Tarja HALONEN                 Minister for Foreign Affairs
Ole NORRBACK                  Minister for European Affairs

Sweden:
Lena HJELM-WALLÉN             Minister for Foreign Affairs
Gunnar LUND                   State Secretary for European Affairs
Yvonne GUSTAFSSON             State Secretary for Industry and Commerce

United Kingdom:
Malcolm RIFKIND               Secretary    of   State    for   Foreign    and
                              Commonwealth Affairs
Antony NELSON                 Minister for Trade

Commission:
Jacques SANTER                President
Sir Leon BRITTAN              Vice-President
Manuel MARIN                  Vice-President
Hans VAN DEN BROEK            Member
Marcelino OREJA               Member

PRESIDENCY PROGRAMME - PUBLIC DEBATE

The Council held a  public debate on the  Irish Presidency programme for  the
second half of 1996,  which was  presented by the  President of the  Council,
Mr Dick SPRING.

This  televised debate  enabled  Ministers to  table  their comments  on  the
programme and to indicate what they considered to be the priority topics.

APPLICATION BY SLOVENIA FOR ACCESSION TO THE EUROPEAN UNION

Following  Slovenia's application  for accession  submitted on  10 June 1996,
the  Council decided to implement the procedures laid down in the Treaty and,
accordingly, to invite the Commission to prepare its opinion.

CYPRUS

The  Council  approved  the  appointment  of  Ambassador  Kester  HEASLIP  as
Presidency Representative for Cyprus.   He will monitor the situation  on the
ground, maintaining  close contact with the  parties concerned and report  to
the Council.   The Council considers essential close cooperation  between all
international actors within the U.N. framework.

RELATIONS WITH SWITZERLAND - COUNCIL CONCLUSIONS

The  Council heard a report by  the Commission on the  state of the bilateral
sectoral negotiations with Switzerland.

The Council  welcomed progress  achieved in all  sectors of the  negotiations
since its  meeting on 13 May 1996.   It  took note that  a certain  amount of
technical work is  still needed and encouraged  both sides to continue  their
efforts to find mutually satisfactory solutions to the outstanding issues.

The  Council  once  more   underlined  the  importance  attaching  to   these
negotiations in the context of developing the European Union's  long-standing
close and  mutually beneficial  relations  with  Switzerland and  urged  that
these negotiations be completed as soon as possible.

Consequently, the Council urged the Commission to  pursue the negotiations at
a sustained pace, on the basis of the conclusions drawn at its May meeting.

The  Council agreed  that it  would consider  this matter  again at  an early
date.

FORMER YUGOSLAVIA - COUNCIL CONCLUSIONS

The Council had an exchange  of views, with the participation of the European
Administrator,  Mr Perez Casado, on the future of the EU's presence in Mostar
in the light of  the outcome  of the local  elections on 30  June and of  the
contacts  of  the President  of the  Council and  Commissioner Van  den Broek
during their visit to the region on 10/11 July.

The Council  renewed its deep appreciation  for the remarkable  efforts of Mr
Perez Casado  which made the successful holding of  local elections in Mostar
possible and  expressed its  thanks to  the EU  Administrator, whose  mandate
will  expire on 22  July 1996,  for the outstanding  work he  accomplished on
behalf of the European Union and in the interest of peace.

The Council adopted a joint action on Mostar and agreed on the nomination  of
Sir Martin Garrod  as  EU Special  Envoy  in  Mostar. The  objective  of  the
continued EU presence  in Mostar will be  to consolidate the achievements  of
the  EUAM during  a  phasing-out period  in 1996 with  a  view  to the  rapid
integration  of Mostar into the  overall structures  for peace implementation
in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The  Council,  furthermore,  had  an  exchange  of  views  on  the  state  of
implementation of  the peace  process and in  particular on the  situation in
Republika  Srpska.  Recalling  the declaration  of  the  European  Council at
Florence, which  underlined in  particular the need  for freedom of  movement
and access to public media, for full cooperation by all parties with the

International Criminal Tribunal for  Former Yugoslavia and for  Mr Karadzic's
removal from the  political scene, the Council noted that  these requirements
had still to be fully complied with. 

The  Council   requested  the   Presidency  to  carry   out  a  démarche   to
President Izetbegovic  to  underline   the  importance  of  support  for  the
independent media  through the IN-TV project  of the High Representative  and
to  explore the possibility of granting some support from the IN-TV financial
envelope for the rehabilitation of the State media.

The Commission announced  that in addition to the efforts  already undertaken
by  the European Union in favour of refugees,  in particular through ECHO, it
would adopt  by the end  of July,  in close cooperation  with UNHCR, all  the
projects  under heading  B-7.542  totalling  ECU 30  million,  these projects
being  in addition  to the  efforts currently  being  undertaken under  other
budget  headings,  including  essential  aid  to  facilitate  the  return  of
refugees.  These projects  would serve to promote  the return of refugees  to
the areas most affected by the conflict, particularly the Bihac region.

In regard to Eastern Slavonia, the Commission  noting that European Community
actions in favour of reconstruction already cover  this region, announced its
intention  to seize COREPER of  ways to  accentuate its effort  in the coming
weeks.

RUSSIA - COUNCIL CONCLUSIONS

The  Council held  an exchange  of views  on the  political situation  in the
Russian  Federation  after  the   Presidential  elections.    Recalling   the
declaration by the European  Council in Florence and  the declaration by  the
Presidency  on  behalf  of  the Union  issued  on  5 July 1996,  the  Council
welcomed the successful conclusion  of those elections, which  constituted an
historic achievement in the consolidation of democracy in Russia.

The Council noted that  the election result confirms the  wish of the Russian
people to  pursue the path of  economic and democratic reform  and reaffirmed
the Union's readiness to continue contributing to that process.   The Council
urges   the  earliest   possible  completion   of  the   ratifications  still
outstanding of the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (PCA) with Russia.

The Council discussed the latest developments  in Chechnya.  It expressed its
concern at  the recurrence of violence  and decided that this  concern should
be conveyed  to the  Russian authorities.  It  called on the  parties to make
every  endeavour,  with the  involvement  of  the OSCE,  to  re-establish  an
effective cease-fire  and to  achieve a peaceful  settlement of the  conflict
within the framework of autonomy inside the Russian Federation.

MIDDLE EAST PEACE PROCESS

The Council discussed the Middle East Peace  Process following Mr NETANYAHU's
visit to Washington.  On  the basis of orientations proposed by the Political
Committee  it considered  how  the  European Union  might  follow up  on  the
Declaration  of  the Florence  European  Council  on the  Middle  East  Peace
Process.

MEDA - FINANCIAL REGULATION

The Council  reached agreement on the  Regulation on financial and  technical
measures to  accompany the reform  and economic and social  structures in the
framework of the Euro-Mediterranean partnership (MEDA) -  and to mitigate any
social  or  environmental  consequences   which  may  result  from   economic
development.   Its formal adoption will take place  after finalization of the
text in the official languages.

Having examined the amendments proposed by the  European Parliament following
its reconsultation, the Council has sought to  meet the Parliaments' requests
to include in the recitals references regarding  the respect of international
law  and the  territorial  integrity and  external  frontiers of  the  Member
States  and  Mediterranean  non-member   countries,  and  for  ensuring   the
transparency and  overall  consistency  of  action  undertaken  using  budget
appropriations.

The  Regulation  will  open  the way  for  the  practical  implementation  of
financial   cooperation  with   the  Mediterranean   Partner  countries   and
territories  :  Algeria,  Cyprus,  Egypt,  Israel,  Jordan,  Lebanon,  Malta,
Morocco,  Syria, Tunisia, Turkey and the Occupied Territories of Gaza and the
West Bank.

Its purpose is to  contribute to initiatives of  joint interest in the  three
sectors  of  the   Euro-Mediterranean  partnership:    the  reinforcement  of
political stability  and of democracy, the  creation of  a Euro-Mediterranean
free-trade  area, and  the development  of economic  and social  cooperation.
The  objectives and  rules for  implementation are  set out  in detail  in an
Annex.

The  beneficiaries  of support  measures  may  include not  only  States  and
regions but also  local authorities, regional organizations, public agencies,
local or traditional communities, organizations supporting  business, private
operators,  cooperatives,  mutual societies,  associations,  foundations  and
non-governmental organizations.

The financial reference  amount for the implementation of this  programme for
the   period   1995-1999  shall   be  ECU 3 424,5   million.      The  annual
appropriations  will be  authorized  by the  budgetary authority  within  the
limits of the financial perspective.

TURKEY

On Turkey, the Council adopted the following declaration :

"The European Union has followed with  serious concern the situation that has
emerged as a consequence  of the issue raised  by Turkey concerning the  Imia
Islet.

The resulting frictions involve, on  the one hand, a Member State with  which
a natural solidarity  exists and, on the  other hand, a  neighbouring country
with which  the European Community wishes  to develop further a  relationship
of  dialogue and  cooperation in  all the  fields resulting from  the Customs
Union.

The Council  recalls its  attachment to the  development of good  neighbourly
relations among all countries  of the region.   In this context, the  Council
recalls  that relations  between Turkey  and the  European Union  have to  be
based on  a clear  commitment to the  principle of respect  for international
law and agreements,  the relevant international practice, and the sovereignty
and the territorial integrity of the Member States and of Turkey.

The Council considers that disputes  should be settled solely on the basis of
international law.  Therefore, the Council calls  for restraint and avoidance
of  any action  liable  to increase  tensions, and  specifically  the use  or
threat of  force, and considers appropriate  that dialogue should be  pursued
along  the  lines  which  have  emerged  in  previous  contacts  between  the
interested  parties which  may  contribute  to the  improvement  of bilateral
relations as well as to the establishment of a crisis prevention mechanism.

The  Council  further  underlines  that the  cases  of  disputes  created  by
territorial claims, such as the  Imia Islet issue, should be submitted to the
International Court of Justice.

The Council requests the Presidency to invite Turkey to  indicate whether she
commits herself to the aforementioned principles."

MYANMAR/BURMA - COUNCIL CONCLUSIONS

The  Council  is  deeply  alarmed by  the  continuing  deterioration  of  the
political situation  in Burma (Myanmar).   It urges the  State Law  and Order
Council (SLORC) to restore democracy without delay and respect Human Rights.

The Council reiterates the call  for a full and satisfactory explanation from
the Burmese  authorities of the circumstances  leading up to and  surrounding
the  death in  custody, on June  22 1996, of the  late James Leander Nichols,
who had served as Honorary Consul for several European states.

With this in mind, the Council

-    invites   the  appropriate   instances  to   consider  possible  further
     restrictive measures in co-operation with other countries concerned,

-    will continue to monitor developments in this matter closely.

BURUNDI - COUNCIL DECLARATION

Recalling its  previous Declarations and Common  Position on Burundi and,  in
particular,  the Declarations  of 25 June 1996 and 5  July 1996, the European
Union warmly welcomes  the Resolution on Burundi adopted by  the Organisation
of African Unity's Assembly  of Heads of State  and Government in Yaoundé  on
8 -10 July 1996.

The Union  particularly welcomes the reaffirmation by the  OAU of its support
for  the  Mwanza Peace  Talks  under  the facilitation  of  former  President
Nyerere and its encouragement  to him to continue  with his efforts based  on
and incorporating  the principles  of sustainable democracy  and security for
all  the people  of Burundi and  an all-inclusive negotiation  process.   The
Union  reiterates  its   appreciation  of  the  untiring  efforts  of  former
President Nyerere and its support for his peace initiative in this context.

The  declaration in the Resolution of the OAU's  full support for the outcome
of  the Arusha  Summit of  25  June 1996,  especially the  acceptance of  the
request by  the Government of  Burundi for  Security Assistance  in order  to
complement  and  reinforce  the  Mwanza peace  talks,  as  well  as  creating
conducive security  conditions for all parties  to freely participate in  the
Mwanza process is also welcomed by the Union. 

The European  Union reaffirms its willingness  to support the realization  of
the  Arusha  objectives  with  a view  to  restoring  peace  and  security in
Burundi.   It  remains  ready to  help Burundi  in  its  economic and  social
recovery when  political and  security conditions make  it possible to  begin
its rehabilitation.

EXTENSION OF THE MANDATE FOR THE SPECIAL ENVOY OF THE EU

The Council  extended, until 31  July 1997,  the mandate  for the EU  Special
Envoy to  the Great Lakes  Region, which  was decided on  25 March and  which
will expire on 25 September.

This extension will be reviewed in six months.

The decision  regarding additional  financial support  for the  activities of
the Special Envoy, proportionate  to future needs, will  be taken at a  later
stage.

HELMS-BURTON ACT - COUNCIL CONCLUSIONS

The Council,  while reaffirming its concern  to promote democratic reform  in
Cuba,  recalled the deep concern  expressed by the  European Council over the
extraterritorial effects  on  the "Cuban  Liberty  and Democratic  Solidarity
(Liberdad)" Act adopted by the United States  and similar pending legislation
regarding Iran/Libya.  It  noted the  widespread international objections  to
this legislation.   It called upon President  Clinton to waive the provisions
of Title III and  expressed serious concern at the  measures already taken to
implement Title IV of the Act.

The Council identified a range of measures which could  be deployed by the EU
in response  to the damage  to the interests of  EU companies  resulting from
the implementation of the Act.  Among these are the following :

-    a move to a WTO dispute settlement panel,
-    changes in  the procedures  governing  entry  by representatives  of  US
     companies to EU Member States,
-    the  use/introduction of  legislation within  the EU  to neutralise  the
     extraterritorial effects of the US legislation,
-    the  establishment of  a watch  list of  US companies  filing Title  III
     actions.

The Council instructed COREPER to make the  necessary preparations for urgent
Community and co-ordinated national action.

TRADE QUESTIONS

-    PREPARATION FOR WTO MINISTERIAL CONFERENCE IN SINGAPORE

On the  basis of  an outline  by Sir Leon  BRITTAN, the  Council had  a first
political  orientation debate  on  the  overall aims  to  be pursued  by  the
Community and its  Member States at the  first WTO Ministerial Conference  in
Singapore (9-13 December 1996).   The Council took note of  initial positions
presented  by Member  States  in  this  regard.   The  Council  welcomed  the
initiative of the Irish Presidency to  explore these elements at an  informal
meeting that  Ministers responsible would  have in Dublin on  18-19 September
1996.   The Council further welcomed  the Commission's intention to  produce,
before  the  end  of  July,  a document  which  should  form  the  basis  for
discussion at the informal Dublin meeting.

The Council agreed to  pursue its formal deliberations  on the matter at  its
October meeting, in conformity with the conclusions  of the Florence European
Council.

-    TRADE AND ENVIRONMENT - COUNCIL CONCLUSIONS

The  Council  welcomes  the  Communication of  the  Commission  as  a  useful
contribution to the  discussions on the interrelationships between  trade and
environment.   In a  world where  concerns about the  environment are greater
than ever  before and yet  where there has been  significant progress  in the
liberalisation of world trade, it is essential  that the relationship between
the two be more closely analysed.  In particular,  the Communication helps to
identify the principles  and objectives that should  guide the EU during  the
discussions  in  international  fora, particularly  in  the WTO  Committee on
Trade  and Environment  (CTE),  which  will  submit  a Report  to  the  first
Ministerial  Conference of the WTO to be held  in Singapore in December 1996.
The Council believes that the Ministerial  Conference represents an important
step    for  the trade  and  environment  debate  and  that it  should  bring
substantive results in this field.

The  Council  shares  the  objectives  of  a   high  level  of  environmental
protection  and  of   ensuring  an  open,  equitable  and  non-discriminatory
multilateral  trading system.  It considers them to be equally important.  In
this respect the Council reaffirms that the most effective  way of addressing
international environmental  problems is  through the multilateral  approach,
not by  unilateral action.  The Council believes  that trade and  environment
can play  a mutually  supportive role in  favour of sustainable  development,
according to the spirit of the Rio Conference.

This  view  is based  on the  conviction  than an  open  multilateral trading
system  makes possible  a  more efficient  use of  natural resources  in both
economic and environmental terms and contributes to  lessening demands on the
environment, therefore contributing to  sustainable development.  However  in
the  absence   of  appropriate  environmental   and  economic   policies  and
sustainable   development  strategies,   the   increased  economic   activity
resulting from trade liberalisation might add to  pressure on the environment
and on natural resources.

The Council notes that, to date, no  systematic relationship between existing
environmental policies  and  competitiveness  impacts  has  been  identified.
Further  studies  on  this  subject  could help  clarify  the  terms  of  the
relationship.

The Council agrees  that environmental policies can provide an  incentive for
technological innovation,  promote economic  efficiency  and improve  overall
competitiveness.   Therefore the Council  believes that  economic performance
and  environmental  performance   are  not  incompatible.    While  achieving
environmental benefits  can entail  additional short-term costs,  there are a
wide range  of "win-win"  opportunities in the  design and implementation  of
environmental    policies,   which   could   improve   resource   efficiency,
competitiveness and employment.

The Council  concludes that differences in  environmental policies should not
result in the introduction of environmental countervailing  duties as a means
of  compensating  for  the  cost  of  imposing  more  rigorous  environmental
requirements on domestic industries than those  faced by foreign competitors.
The Council  further  concludes  that  environmental  requirements  or  their
enforcement  should not be relaxed with  the aim of attracting investments or
promoting exports.

The  Council reaffirms that all countries have  the sovereign right to design
and  implement their  own  environmental policies  through the  measures they
consider appropriate to  protect their domestic environment, but at  the same
time have  a responsibility  to contribute to  the solution of  environmental
problems of global and transboundary nature.

The  Council  recognises  that   developing  countries  and  countries   with
economies in  transition have  specific concerns  in this field.   Trade  and
environment  issues must be  approached in ways that  do not jeopardise their
sustainable  development   prospects  or   undermine  their  overall   export
performance.   In this respect  the Council reaffirms  Principle 6 of the Rio
Declaration:  "The  special  situation  and  needs  of  developing  countries
particularly the least developed  and those most environmentally  vulnerable,
shall  be  given  special  priority".    In  this  respect,   action  at  the
multilateral level  would be  appropriate. In  particular, efforts  should be
made to  enhance  market access  opportunities  for environmentally  friendly
products from LDCs.

The  Council believes  that the  EU  should remain  strongly  committed to  a
multilateral  approach  as  the  most effective  way  to  tackle  global  and
transboundary environmental problems.   As recognised in Principle 12  of the
Rio  Declaration,  unilateral actions  to  deal  with environmental  problems
outside  the jurisdiction  of the  importing country  should  be avoided  and
environmental  measures  addressing  transboundary  or  global  environmental
problems should, as far as possible, be based on an international consensus.

The  Council  notes that  existing trade  rules allow  countries to  take any
measures necessary  for the  protection of the  environment within their  own
territory provided  that they  are not discriminatory,  arbitrary and do  not
result in  disguised restrictions on international  trade.  At  the same time
further   clarification  of   the  relationship   between  trade   rules  and
environmental measures  is  needed  in order  to  improve predictability  for
trade and  environment policy-makers.  In particular further clarification is
needed as  regards  those  measures  which  are taken  to  tackle  global  or
transboundary problems and which have an impact on trade.

In this respect the Council  supports the proactive role of the Community  in
the  competent international  fora, particularly the  WTO Committee  on Trade
and  Environment (CTE).  The  work of  the CTE should  be result-oriented and
balanced, taking into account not only the need to  preserve the integrity of
the multilateral trading system, but  also the need to take positive steps to
enhance   the  relationship  between   trade  provisions   and  environmental
measures.   The CTE should benefit  from improved transparency and  effective
input from  environmental experts and  other international  organisations, in
particular the CSD, UNEP,  UNCTAD, and the OECD.   The Council recognises the
value  of the work  of these  institutions and  will continue  to participate
actively in their work.

The Council believes that some  of the items on the  work program of the  CTE
are  ready for  results at  the WTO  Ministerial Conference  in Singapore and
that the  Report by  the  CTE  should lead  to  the adoption  of  substantive
decisions  by   the   Ministers,  notably   on   the  relationships   between
Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs) and GATT/WTO rules.

The intense  work on  the interface  between GATT/WTO  rules and MEAs  should
lead  to  the  conclusion  that   the  multilateral  trading  system   should
accommodate, under  clear and  predictable rules, the  use of trade  measures
taken in  the framework of MEAs.   Such measures can  be necessary to achieve
the objectives  of the MEA and  the fact that  they have been negotiated  and
agreed   multilaterally  is   the  best   guarantee   against  the   risk  of
protectionist abuses.

The   Council  believes  that  the   relationship  between  trade  rules  and
innovative instruments,  in particular eco-labelling,  needs to  be clarified
in  order to  ensure transparency  and to  secure the  use of  the life cycle
approach.

As  regards dispute  settlement,  the best  ways  to ensure  cooperation  and
exchange of  expertise in  the settlement  of trade  and environment  related
disputes should be explored.

The  Council   takes  note  that  consideration   should  be  given  to   the
establishment  by the  WTO  of  a  notification  system as  a  complement  to
existing international instruments  on trade in dangerous substances provided
that duplication is avoided.

Finally, the  Council notes that other  issues such as economic  instruments,
trade in services  and the environment, intellectual property rights  and the
environment, the issue of processes  and production methods and the  issue of
market access might require a longer time frame for analysis and resolution.

NIGERIA - COUNCIL CONCLUSIONS

The Council had a further discussion  on the continuing serious situation  in
Nigeria.

It  noted  that  there had  been  a  number  of potentially  positive  recent
developments, including the interim  response of  the Nigerian Government  to
the recommendations of  the fact-finding mission of the UN Secretary-General,
the resumption of dialogue  with the  Commonwealth,  the release of a  number
of  political  prisoners and  the  establishment  of a  Commission  on  Human
Rights.

At  the same time,  however, the  Council continued to  have serious concerns
about  the general  Human Rights  situation and  the pace  and manner  of the
transition to  democratic rule,  including certain aspects  of the guidelines
for the formation  and registration of political parties, recently  issued by
the National Electoral Commission of Nigeria.

It called on the  Nigerian Government to  expedite the process of  transition
to democracy,  including the shortening of  the electoral calendar.   It also
called on  the Government to  ensure full  respect for  Human Rights and  the
rule  of law, including the review of all  cases of those held without charge
and of all political prisoners,  and to receive and co-operate fully with the
two thematic rapporteurs of the UN Commission on Human Rights.

Recalling  the measures the Union had already taken  in regard to Nigeria, in
particular the  common positions  of 20  November 1995, and  4 December  1995
(the  latter having  been renewed for a  further six months  on 3 June 1996),
the  Council  stated  its  intention  to  continue  its  identification   and
examination of further  measures, and  to do  so in  consultation with  other
interested countries and bodies.

The Council  indicated that  it would  continue to keep  developments in  the
country  under close  review,  especially the  examination  of the  cases  of
detainees and the issue of further releases of political prisoners. 

5th MINISTERIAL MEETING OF THE INTERGOVERNMENTAL CONFERENCE

The  5th Ministerial meeting  of the IGC, which  was held on  the occasion of
the  Council  meeting,  was  preceded  by  the  customary  meeting  with  the
President  of  the  European  Parliament,   Mr Klaus HÄNSCH,  accompanied  by
Ms Elisabeth GUIGOU  and Mr Elmar BROK, Members  of the  European Parliament.
The meeting  dealt in particular with the issues  of flexibility and security
and defence.

Since  this was  the first Ministerial  meeting of  the IGC  under the  Irish
Presidency, details were  provided by the Presidency of the approach which it
intends to  follow to  achieve the  objective set  by  the Florence  European
Council, involving preparation of a general framework with a  view to a draft
revision of the Treaties in  time for the European Council meeting in Dublin.
The working  method  advocated by  the Presidency,  without disregarding  the
conceptual approach, provides  for practical work to be carried  out wherever
possible, directly on the basis of draft texts.

Ministers welcomed both the Presidency work programme  and the working method
announced for this new phase of negotiations.

Ministers also took  note of an oral report by  Mr Noel DORR, Chairman of the
Group of  Personal Representatives,  on the outcome  of the informal  meeting
held   in  Cork  on 6  and 7 July 1996   regarding  the  specific  topics  of
flexibility and security/defence.

DECISIONS DIVERSES 
(Adoptées sans débat.  Lorsqu'il s'agit d'actes  de caractère législatif, les
votes contraires ou abstentions sont indiqués.   Les décisions comportant des
déclarations que  le Conseil  aurait décidé de  rendre accessibles au  public
sont signalées par un *;  les déclarations en  question peuvent être obtenues
auprès du Service de Presse.)

TRANSPARENCE

Débats publics

Le  Conseil a approuvé la liste des thèmes  qui pourraient faire l'objet d'un
débat public lors des sessions du Conseil sous Présidence irlandaise :

Ecofin (8 juillet - a déjà eu lieu)     Programme    de    travail   de    la
                                        Présidence

Affaires générales (15 juillet)         Programme    de    travail   de    la
                                        Présidence

Recherche (7 octobre)                   Livre vert sur l'innovation

Pêche (14 octobre)                      Pêche responsable

Environnement (15 octobre)              Huiles pour  voitures (effets sur  la
                                        qualité de l'air)

Affaires générales (28 et 29 octobre)   Dialogue structuré avec les PECO

Education (21 novembre)                 Education et  formation tout au  long
                                        de la vie

Développement (22 novembre)             Résolution   sur   le   développement
                                        humain et social

Consommateurs (25 novembre)             Protection des consommateurs dans  le
                                        cadre de la société de l'information

Marché intérieur (26 novembre)          Etude de l'impact et  de l'efficacité
                                        de  la  législation, ayant  trait  au
                                        marché intérieur

Energie (3 décembre)                    Stratégie  concernant les  ressources
                                        renouvelables.

JUSTICE ET AFFAIRES INTERIEURES

Action contre le racisme et la xénophobie

A  la suite  de l'accord politique  intervenu lors  de la  session des  19 et
20 mars 1996, et  après mise au point  juridique et linguistique des  textes,
le Conseil a adopté formellement l'action commune concernant  l'action contre
le racisme  et la  xénophobie (cf. Communication  à la Presse,  doc. 5727/96,
Presse 63).

RELATIONS EXTERIEURES

Association avec la Hongrie

Le Conseil a adopté la  position à prendre lors de la 3ème session du Conseil
d'Association UE-Hongrie du 16 juillet 1996 (cf. Communication à la Presse
UE-H 1506/96 Presse 220).

Association avec la Pologne

Le Conseil a adopté la  position à prendre lors de la 3ème session du Conseil
d'  Association UE-Pologne du 16 juillet 1996  et a marqué son accord sur une
série de projets de décision à adopter par ce Conseil d'Association :

-    Projet de  décision concernant l'adoption  des règles  nécessaires à  la
     mise en  oeuvre des  dispositions de l'Accord  européen avec la  Pologne
     relatives  aux règles  de   concurrence (article  63, paragraphes  1(i),
     1(ii) et 2  dudit Accord et l'article 8, paragraphes 1(i), 1(ii) et 2 du
     Protocole n. 2 relatif aux produits CECA du même Accord);

-    Projet  de décision  modifiant  le protocole  nu 4 à  l'Accord  européen
     relatif  à  la notion  de  "produits  originaires" et  aux  méthodes  de
     coopération  administrative, en  vue de  mieux préciser l'interprétation
     de cette notion et  de l'aligner sur celle  appliquée dans le cadre  des
     autres accords européens;

-    Projet de  décision relative  à la détermination  des droits applicables
     aux importations de la Pologne de produits  originaires de la Communauté
     et énumérés à  l'annexe III du  protocole nu 3 (relatif aux  échanges de
     produits agricoles transformés) de l'accord européen;

     Cette  décision  établit  le  calendrier  selon  lequel   l'élément
     agricole  de l'imposition,  une fois  qu'il  a été  déterminé, sera
     progressivement  réduit. En ce qui concerne l'élément non-agricole,
     le  protocole prévoit  que son  imposition devra  être éliminée  au
     plus tard le 1er janvier 1999.

-    Projet  de  décision   visant  à  régler  le  différend  concernant  les
     restrictions aux exportations  polonaises sur les cuirs et  peaux. Cette
     décision  confirmera  l'accord   déjà  intervenu  au  niveau  du  Comité
     d'association  prévoyant des  exportations polonaises  de 10  000 t pour
     1996, 12 000 t pour 1997  et 15 000 t pour  1998 et la libéralisation  à
     partir du 1er janvier 1999.

Réunion ministérielle UE/OUA

Le  Conseil a approuvé le principe de tenir une réunion au niveau ministériel
entre  l'Union européenne  et l'Organisation  de l'unité  africaine, en marge
d'une  session  du   Conseil  Affaires-générales,  probablement  au  mois  de
novembre.  A cette occasion, l'OUA se ferait représenter par une Troïka.

Cette  rencontre  s'inscrit  dans  le cadre  du  dialogue  instauré  sous  la
Présidence allemande (2ème semestre 1994) qui, jusqu'à  présent, s'est tenu à
un niveau inférieur.

Réunion ministérielle UE/SADC

Le Conseil est convenu  de tenir la réunion  UE-SADC au niveau ministériel  à
Windhoek, en Namibie, les 14 et 15 octobre 1996.

Cette réunion  fait suite à un  engagement des deux parties,  pris lors de la
conférence ministérielle à Berlin en septembre dernier.  La tenue d'une telle
réunion  témoignera  de l'importance  que l'Union  européenne  attache  à ses
relations  avec  l'Afrique australe  et  permettra  de passer  en  revue  les
progrès réalisés depuis la conférence de Berlin.

Accords de coopération avec le Pakistan et le Bangladesh

Le Conseil a autorisé la Commission à négocier deux  accords de coopération :
entre la CE et  la République islamique du Pakistan, ainsi qu'entre  la CE et
la République populaire du Bangladesh.

Il  s'agit d'accords-cadre  de  commerce et  de  coopération, de  nature  non
préférentiel,  établissant  le   cadre  des  relations  bilatérales.  Ils  ne
comporteront pas de protocoles financiers.  

Association avec la Roumanie/exportation de ferraille

Le  Conseil  a  marqué  son  accord sur  un  projet  de  décision  du Conseil
d'association  UE-Roumanie  concernant   l'exportation  de  ferraille  de  la
Roumanie vers la Communauté.

Ce projet  de décision vise la  suppression des restrictions à  l'exportation
de  ferraille de la  Roumanie vers la Communauté.  En fait, l'accord européen
UE-Roumanie prévoit que  toutes les restrictions à l'exportation de ferraille
doivent  être supprimées avant la  fin de  la 5ème année  suivant l'entrée en
vigueur de l'accord au plus tard, c'est-à-dire avant le  31 décembre 1997. Ce
projet de décision  tient également  compte de la  libéralisation progressive
des restrictions à l'exportation de 1996 et 1997 annoncée par la Roumanie.

Protocoles aux Accords avec l'Ukraine, la Russie et la Moldova

Le Conseil a décidé - conjointement avec les  représentants des Etats membres
réunis  au sein  du Conseil -  de procéder  à la  signature, sous  réserve de
conclusion  ultérieure,  des  Protocoles aux  Accords  de  partenariat et  de
coopération avec l'Ukraine, la Russie et le  Moldova, suite à l'élargissement
de l'Union.

Ces Protocoles ont pour objet  d'ajouter l'Autriche, la Finlande et la  Suède
à la liste des parties contractantes des Accords précités.

Les Accords de partenariat et  de coopération avec l'Ukraine, la Russie et la
Moldova   ont  été   signés  respectivement   les  14   juin,   24  juin   et
28 novembre 1994.

Coopération   au   développement/Adoption   de   certaines   conclusions   et
résolutions

Ayant  constaté un  accord quant  au fond  sur les  textes de  conclusions et
résolutions  indiquées   ci-dessous   lors   de   la   session   du   Conseil
"Développement"  du 28  mai  dernier (cf.  Communication  à la  Presse,  doc.
7525/96, Presse 148), le Conseil a adopté formellement les textes suivants :

-    Conclusions du Conseil et des Etats membres sur les  "liens entre l'aide
     d'urgence,  l'aide  à  la  réhabilitation  et  le  développement à  long
     terme";
-    Conclusions du Conseil sur le "renforcement de  la coordination entre la
     Communauté et les Etats membres au niveau opérationnel";
-    Résolution   du  Conseil   et  des   Etats  Membres   sur  "l'évaluation
     environnementale dans le cadre de la coopération au développement";
-    Conclusions du Conseil sur "la coopération décentralisée";
-    Conclusions du Conseil sur "les migrations et le développement".

UNRWA - 9ème Convention pour les années 1996-98

Le  Conseil a  approuvé les  résultats des  négociations que  la Commission a
menées  en vue  d'un  renouvellement de  la  Convention entre  la  Communauté
européenne et l'Office de  Secours et de Travaux  des Nations Unies pour  les
réfugiés de Palestine (UNRWA)  relative à la contribution de  la CE au budget
de l'UNRWA pour la période 1996-1998.

Accession de la Mongolie à l'OMC

Le Conseil  et les représentants des  gouvernements des Etats membres  réunis
en  son sein  ont marqué leur  accord à  l'accession de la  Mongolie à l'OMC.
Cette position  commune sera présentée par la Commission à l'OMC au nom de la
Communauté et de ses Etats membres.

Antidumping : Indonésie, Thaïlande/fil continu texturé de polyester

Le  Conseil a prorogé le droit antidumping provisoire sur les importations de
fil continu texturé de polyester originaire d'Indonésie  et de Thaïlande pour
une période de deux mois expirant le 1er décembre 1996.

Le droit  antidumping provisoire  avait été  institué par  le règlement  (CE)
nu 940/96 du 23 mai 1996. 

CECA

Projets de recherche technique "charbon"

Le Conseil a  donné son avis conforme au titre  de l'article 55,2c) du Traité
CECA concernant  un projet de décision  de la Commission concernant  l'octroi
d'aides financières à 37 projets de recherche technique "charbon".

Projets de recherche technique acier et projets pilote/démonstration acier

Le Conseil a donné  son avis conforme au titre  des dispositions de l'article
55.2c) du Traité CECA, concernant l'octroi d'aides  financières à des projets
de recherche technique acier et projets pilote/démonstration acier.

Octroi d'un prêt à "LUSOPONTE", Lisbonne

Le Conseil a donné son  avis conforme au titre des dispositions de  l'article
54.2  du Traité  CECA  pour l'octroi  d'un prêt  à  "Lusoponte"  pour le  co-
financement  d'un   projet  d'investissement   qui   contribue  à   faciliter
l'écoulement de 
l'acier communautaire.

EDUCATION

Transparence des certificats de formation professionnelle

Le  Conseil a  formellement  adopté la  résolution  sur la  transparence  des
certificats  de formation  professionnelle.  Le texte  de cette  résolution a
déjà  été reproduit dans  la communication à la  presse (doc. 7529/96, Presse
152) du 3 juin 1996.

AFFAIRES SOCIALES

Activités en matière de démographie

Le Conseil a formellement adopté les conclusions  concernant des activités en
matière de  démographie, déjà reproduites dans  la communication à la  presse
(doc. 7529/96, Presse 152) du 3 juin 1996.

ENVIRONNEMENT

Life II *

Le Conseil a adopté le règlement définissant  les modalités de fonctionnement
de  l'instrument  financier LIFE  pour  une  deuxième  phase (1996-1999),  la
première étant venue à expiration le  31 décembre 1995. Les cinq  amendements
du  Parlement  européen   repris  par  la  Commission  dans   sa  proposition
réexaminée ont tous été intégrés dans le texte du règlement.

La dotation  financière de LIFE  II est de 450  Mécus, cette  dotation devant
faire  l'objet  d'un  réexamen  en  1997,  à   la  lumière  des  perspectives
financières  et  sur  la base  des  demandes  de cofinancement  communautaire
introduites.

LIFE est le seul instrument financier spécifique de la Communauté en  matière
d'environnement. Il  a pour objectif  général de contribuer au  développement
et, le cas échéant, à la mise en oeuvre de  la politique et de la législation
communautaires dans le domaine de l'environnement.

MARCHE INTERIEUR

Nouveaux aliments et nouveaux ingrédients alimentaires ("Novel Food")

Le Conseil  a décidé de  ne pas  arrêter le  règlement tel  qu'amendé par  le
Parlement européen  en deuxième  lecture. Par  conséquent, et  conformément à
l'article 189 B du  Traité (procédure de co-décision),  il sera procédé à  la
convocation du comité de conciliation entre le Conseil et le Parlement.

Décision adoptée par procédure écrite le 15 juillet 1996

Réseau transeuropéen de transport

A  la  suite  de  l'accord  sur un  projet  commun  intervenu  en  Comité  de
conciliation le  17 juin  1996,  le Conseil  a approuvé  le  15 juillet,  par
procédure écrite,  la décision  sur les  orientations communautaires pour  le
développement du réseau transeuropéen de transport. Etant  donné que cet acte
relève de  la co-décision et que le Parlement  européen, de son côté, a aussi
confirmé le projet commun lors  de sa session plénière de ce 17 juillet 1996,
la décision est ainsi définitivement arrêtée.

Il  est  rappelé que  la  décision  vise l'ensemble  des  infrastructures  de
transport   -  terrestre,  maritime   et  aérien   -  dans   une  perspective
d'intégration  intermodale.  Les  orientations remplaceront  donc  les  trois
décisions  "modales" adoptées  par le  Conseil le  29  octobre 1993  (réseaux
routier, fluvial  et de  transport combiné)  et comprennent  aussi les  voies
ferrées, les  ports  maritimes  et de  navigation  intérieure, les  aéroports
ainsi  que  les systèmes  d'information  et  de gestion  pour  l'ensemble  du
réseau. Elles  peuvent être  considérées comme un  cadre général  définissant
les objectifs  et donnant des indications  sur le développement envisagé  des
réseaux  à l'horizon  2010 ainsi  que sur  les actions  à entreprendre  à cet
effet.

Les orientations  identifient des projets d'intérêt  commun dans le cadre  de
ces réseaux. Elles fournissent des éléments suffisamment  précis à cet effet;
toutefois les  Etats  membres  définissent les  détails  exacts des  projets,
leurs tracés,  leur financement et la  progression de leur réalisation  selon
les règles  nationales  de  planification, conformément  au  principe  de  la
subsidiarité.  L'action communautaire  soutient les  activités menées  sur le
plan national.

Les projets d'intérêt  commun identifiés dans le cadre des  orientations sont
éligibles à  un soutien  financier communautaire par  la ligne budgétaire  en
matière  de réseaux  transeuropéens ou  par le  Fonds de cohésion  en matière
d'infrastructures de transport.

La décision  comprend le  dispositif et trois  annexes: la première  contient
les schémas  du réseau transeuropéen illustrés par des  cartes et la deuxième
les critères  et  spécifications des  projets d'intérêt  commun. Les  projets
d'intérêt  commun sont  donc identifiés  à la fois  par le  dispositif et ces
deux annexes.  Enfin, à  l'annexe  III figurent,  à titre  indicatif, les  14
projets  - déjà compris dans les deux premières annexes - auxquels le Conseil
européen  d'Essen a  attribué une importance  particulière. Etant donné qu'il
s'agit d'une liste indicative, il n'en découle  aucune obligation de priorité
et de financement, ni pour les Etats membres, ni pour la Communauté.

***

Side Bar