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					10621/99 (Presse 263)

2201st Council meeting

- GENERAL AFFAIRS Brussels, 13 September 1999

President :

Ms Tarja HALONEN Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Finland

Internet: http://ue.eu.int/Newsroom E-mail: press.office@consilium.eu.int

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CONTENTS

PARTICIPANTS ................................................................................................................................ 4 ITEMS DEBATED EARTHQUAKE IN GREECE............................................................................................................. 6 PREPARATION OF THE EUROPEAN COUNCIL (Tampere, 15/16 October 1999) ...................... 7 EU CHARTER OF FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS ................................................................................ 9 BANANAS - Conclusions ................................................................................................................. 10 EAST TIMOR - Conclusions ............................................................................................................. 11 WESTERN BALKANS - Conclusions .............................................................................................. 13 MIDDLE EAST PEACE PROCESS - Conclusions .......................................................................... 18 INDEBTEDNESS OF THE POOREST COUNTRIES ..................................................................... 19 INFORMAL MINISTERIAL MEETINGS - Use of languages ........................................................ 19

ITEMS APPROVED WITHOUT DEBATE APPOINTMENTS
   Secretary -General of the Council, High Representative for CFSP .......................................................................... I Deputy Secretary-General of the Council ................................................................................................................. I Committee of the Regions ........................................................................................................................................ I

EXTERNAL RELATIONS
           Turkey - Conclusions on reconstruction aid ............................................................................................................II Togo - Conclusions on the European Facilitators' mission to Togo ........................................................................II Relations with Libya.............................................................................................................................................. III FRY - sanctions ..................................................................................................................................................... III Uzbekistan - first Cooperation Council ................................................................................................................. III Moldova - second Cooperation Committee ........................................................................................................... IV Romania - establishment of a Joint Consultative Committee ................................................................................ IV CEECs - participation in EU programmes............................................................................................................. IV Negotiations with MERCOSUR ............................................................................................................................ IV Negotiations with Chile .......................................................................................................................................... V EU Memorandum for the 54th UN General Assembly .......................................................................................... V

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

TRADE QUESTIONS
  Anti-dumping - ferro-chrome from Kazakhstan, Russia and Ukraine .................................................................... V Nepal - trade in textiles........................................................................................................................................... V

AGRICULTURE
 Sugar...................................................................................................................................................................... VI

BUDGET
 Rectifying and Supplementary Draft Budget n° 4/99 ............................................................................................ VI

JUSTICE AND HOME AFFAIRS
 New synthetic drug 4-MTA................................................................................................................................... VI

INTERNAL MARKET
 Customs 2000 Programme ................................................................................................................................... VII

SOCIAL AFFAIRS
 Protection of workers potentially at risk from explosive atmospheres ................................................................. VII

YOUTH
 DAPHNE Programme .......................................................................................................................................... VII

_________________ For further information call 285.87.04 or 285.68.08 10621/99 (Presse 263 - G) EN 3

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

Belgium : Mr Pierre CHEVALIER Denmark : Mr Niels HELVEG PETERSEN Mr Friis Arne PETERSEN Germany : Mr Joschka FISCHER Greece : Mr Giorgios PAPANDREOU Mr Giannos KRANIDIOTIS Spain : Mr Abel MATUTES Mr Ramón de MIGUEL France : Mr Hubert VEDRINE Mr Pierre MOSCOVICI Ireland : Mr David ANDREWS Italy : Mr Lamberto DINI Mr Umberto RANIERI Luxembourg : Ms Lydie POLFER Netherlands : Mr Jozias VAN AARTSEN Mr Dick BENSCHOP Austria : Mr Wolfgang SCHÜSSEL Ms Benita FERRERO-WALDNER Portugal : Mr Jaime GAMA Mr Francisco SEIXAS da COSTA Finland : Ms Tarja HALONEN Mr Kimmo SASI Sweden : Ms Anne LINDH United-Kingdom : Mr Robin COOK Mr Geoff HOON Minister for Foreign Affairs Minister for Foreign Affairs State Secretary for Foreign Affairs Minister for Foreign Affairs Minister for Foreign Affairs State Secretary for Foreign Affairs Minister for Foreign Affairs State Secretary for Foreign Affairs Minister for Foreign Affairs State Secretary for European Affairs Minister for Foreign Affairs Minister of Foreign Trade and European Affairs Minister for Foreign Affairs Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs Minister of State, Lord Chancellor's Department Minister for Foreign Affairs Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs Minister for Foreign Affairs State Secretary for Foreign Policy and the European Union Minister for Foreign Affairs Minister attached to the Minister for Foreign Affairs, with responsibility for European Affairs State Secretary for Foreign Trade Minister for Foreign Affairs State Secretary for Foreign Affairs Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs and Deputy Federal Chancellor

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Commission : Sir Leon BRITTAN Mr Hans VAN DEN BROEK Vice-President Member

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General Secretariat of the Council : Mr Jürgen TRUMPF

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Secretary General

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EARTHQUAKE IN GREECE

The Council was distressed by the earthquake in Greece last week and extended its deep sympathy to the Government and the people of Greece for the heavy losses caused by this natural disaster.

In a spirit of solidarity, the Council notes with satisfaction that the Commission has already initiated discussions with the Greek authorities on ways to alleviate the consequences of the earthquake.

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PREPARATION OF THE EUROPEAN COUNCIL (Tampere, 15/16 October 1999)

The Council heard an oral report by the Presidency concerning the state of the preparations, as well as the thematic framework, of the Tampere European Council devoted to Justice and Home Affairs.

The Presidency underlined that Tampere should endorse concrete, ambitious policy guidelines and initiatives which will guide further work in Justice and Home Affairs, and, in particular, on the various legislative projects listed in the Vienna Action Plan. The three basic themes of Tampere (which have also been set out in the invitation letter for the informal meeting of Justice and Home Affairs Ministers in Turku on 16-17 September) will cover :

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a common EU asylum and immigration policy: an integrated, cross-pillar policy towards countries of origin, a single European asylum system, subsidiary protection, temporary protection, status and integration of third country nationals, fight against illegal immigration, readmission, and efficient border control,

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cross-border crime: crime prevention, combating organised crime, intensified cross-border law-enforcement cooperation (including the development of Europol), approximation of criminal legislation, coordinated prosecution, and eliminating the economic proceeds of crime,

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a European Judicial Area: the legal status of an individual, legal protection (including access to justice and good administration), mutual recognition of decisions and judgements, approximation of certain aspects of civil law, improvement of victim's rights, simplification and strengthening of judicial cooperation.

The Council also had a first discussion on the need for enhanced and more coherent external action of the Union in the field of Justice and Home Affairs, on the basis of a discussion paper prepared by the Presidency.

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This paper underlines that the establishment of an area of freedom, security and justice requires enhanced and more coherent external action of the European Union in the field of Justice and Home Affairs and that a better integration of Justice and Home Affairs aspects into the definition and implementation of other Union policies and fields of action is needed.

Taking account of these objectives, the debate was aimed at identifying substantive priorities for cooperation in Justice and Home Affairs with respect to external relations (e.g. countries/country groups, themes) and analysing the existing structures (interaction between General Affairs and Justice and Home Affairs Ministers, role of the Secretary General/High Representative and the Planning and Early Warning Unit, possible contributions from Member States' diplomatic and consular missions) and the available instruments (common strategies, Council and Community agreements, coordinated use of instruments under the different pillars).

Following the informal meeting of Justice and Home Affairs Ministers in Turku on 16-17 September, the Council will finalise the preparations of the Tampere European Council at its next session on 11 October 1999.

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EU CHARTER OF FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS

The Council took note of the state of play of the work carried out in order to define the composition, method of work and practical arrangements for the body which is to elaborate a draft EU Charter of Fundamental Rights.

On the basis of the Cologne European Council's conclusions, a "body composed of representatives of the Heads of State and Government and the President of the Commission as well as members of the European Parliament and national parliaments" should elaborate a Charter that "should contain the fundamental rights and freedoms as well as basic procedural rights guaranteed by the European Convention for the protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms and derived from the constitutional traditions common to the Member States, as general principles of Community law". The body should present a draft Charter before the end of the year 2000.

With regard to the composition of the body, the final number of representatives from Member States, the European Parliament and national parliaments, still needs to be agreed. Other questions that remain to be settled, relate to the selection of the Chair of the body and to the body's method of work, in particular the modalities for the drafting of the Charter and its adoption.

The Presidency indicated that it will draw up a final proposal on these questions in order to reach overall agreement at the next session of the General Affairs Council on 11 October, in view of the Tampere Special European Council.

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BANANAS - Conclusions

1.

The Council took note of a report and assessment by Vice-President Sir Leon BRITTAN on the Commission's contacts with the interested parties in the banana dispute. The Council took note also of the statements made by the Members of the Council.

2.

The Council recalled its conclusions of July 1999 and urged the Commission to present a formal proposal for amending the banana regime as soon as possible.

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EAST TIMOR - Conclusions

The Council warmly welcomed the result of the popular consultation of the East Timorese people on 30 August 1999. The Council considers imperative Indonesia's commitment to the full

implementation of the 5 May 1999 Agreement between Portugal and Indonesia. The EU is committed to seeing the people of East Timor enjoy the independence which they have freely chosen. The Council paid tribute to the United Nations for the organisation of the popular consultation and to the courage and extraordinary work of the personnel of the United Nations Mission in East Timor (UNAMET) in the most challenging of circumstances.

The Council condemned in the strongest terms the atrocious acts of terror in East Timor which have followed the announcement of the result of the popular consultation and which have been perpetrated with the complicity of the Indonesian armed forces and police. The Government of Indonesia remains responsible for law and order in the territory.

The Council took note of President Habibie's announcement yesterday that Indonesia would be ready to accept an international force to help create peace in East Timor, protect the population of the territory and implement the outcome of the popular consultation. It underlined the need for the earliest possible deployment of an international force. Order, security and the rule of law must be restored immediately. The EU supports rapid action by the Security Council to decide the mandate of an international presence. The attitude of the EU towards Indonesia will depend on the implementation, without delay and without conditions, of the undertakings given by the President of Indonesia.

The Council has agreed, for a period of four months, on an embargo on the export of arms, munitions and military equipment, a ban on the supply of equipment which might be used for internal repression or terrorism, and a suspension of bilateral military cooperation. The Council will decide, in the light of the situation after that period, on a possible further suspension, of a period to be determined. It invited its competent bodies and the Commission urgently to complete the necessary legal acts.

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The Council stressed that an urgent priority is to remedy the grave humanitarian situation.

It

expressed its deepest indignation at the attacks which have been mounted on humanitarian personnel, church members and human rights defenders. It urges the Indonesian Government to allow the safe return of international humanitarian organisations and agencies to East Timor without delay. They must have secure access to displaced people to allow them safe return to their homes. It welcomed the Commission's intention to pursue urgently the implementation of humanitarian aid and to provide, in coordination with international organisations and notably the UNDP, further humanitarian assistance to those in need. The Council also supports the call of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights for the convening of a Special Session of the Commission on Human Rights (CHR). The Council called for an investigative mission by the CHR to gather the facts and ascertain responsibilities for the campaign of terror which followed the holding of the referendum.

After the resounding vote in the popular consultation, East Timor's independence must proceed without delay, as provided for in the Agreement of 5 May. The Member States of the European Union look forward to recognising East Timor once the process towards independence is complete.

The Council emphasised its desire to see a strong, democratic and united Indonesia.

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WESTERN BALKANS - Conclusions

Serbia/Federal Republic of Yugoslavia The Council discussed its policies towards the FRY. The European Union will continue to support democratic change in the FRY. The Council reaffirmed its intention to reach out to the Serbian people and to the democratic forces in the country in their efforts to promote democratisation and civil society. The Council will continue to differentiate between the Belgrade regime and the population in the FRY so as to make sure that the regime will not benefit from EU action in favour of the population.

The Council also discussed how best to support the democratic forces and organisations in Serbia. Contacts and dialogue with democratically elected local leaders and leaders of civic organisations will be developed. The Council agreed that the time has come to establish formal contacts with the representatives of democratic forces in Serbia and Montenegro. The EU will invite representatives of the democratic opposition parties and civil society in Serbia and of the government of Montenegro to Brussels for discussions. In this context, the Council welcomed the joint initiative by Ministers Cook and Petersen intended to establish a shared process, which will provide a forum for genuine discussion on political and technical issues. The Council also agreed to re-evaluate

the present support activities and intensify concrete projects of the Union in Serbia in relevant fields, such as support for democratic media. The Council reaffirmed its intention to continue providing humanitarian assistance to the people of Serbia and welcomed the allocation by ECHO of 40m EURO to that effect. The Council invited its competent bodies and the Commission to study possibilities for providing energy for humanitarian purposes to institutions serving vulnerable groups and agreed that work should be taken forward urgently on providing democratically governed municipalities with energy (Energy for Democracy).

The Council agreed that any decision on the provision of energy would need to be accompanied by a message indicating the Union's exclusive support for democratic forces and the Serbian people.

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The Council discussed the role of sanctions in its policies with regard to the FRY. As an expression of sympathy with the Serbian people it agreed to rescind its decision concerning the discouragement of the sporting links. Decisions on the remaining sanctions measures will be made in the light of the developments in the country.

The Council noted that following its Common Position exempting Montenegro and Kosovo from the oil embargo and the flight ban, the Commission is presenting the proposals for the necessary amendments to the respective regulations and invites the competent bodies to finalise them speedily with a view to adoption by the end of September.

Kosovo

The Council emphasized the importance of finalizing the UNMIK deployment in Kosovo. It also welcomed the fact that KFOR deployment will soon be completed. The Council condemned the continuing acts of violence and harassment in Kosovo. The Council stressed the importance of completing the demilitarization of the KLA and of the dismantling of its military structures, and called on the KLA to meet the 19 September deadline.

The Council also welcomed the efforts of UNMIK to promote reconciliation and cooperation between various ethnic and other groups in Kosovo. It recalled its commitment to a democratic and multi-ethnic Kosovo and reiterated its expectation that UNSCR 1244 be fully implemented by all the parties.

The Council also expressed its deep concern that the Serb and other non-Albanian populations have to a large extent left Kosovo and recalled that UNSCR 1244 foresees the right to return of all refugees and displaced persons. Every effort should be made to facilitate their return. The Council also expressed its deep concern that the question of several thousand persons, overwhelmingly Kosovo Albanians, who have disappeared remains open.

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The Council expressed the importance of intensifying the reconstruction efforts in Kosovo also in view of the needs of winterization. The Council invited the Commission and the competent bodies to ensure a timely and efficient EC contribution to reconstruction.

Montenegro

The Council also discussed the possibilities of rendering further financial support to Montenegro under its democratically elected Government. It welcomed the measures already taken to this effect. It stressed the need for a constructive dialogue between the Belgrade regime and Montenegro on the proposals made by the latter on the future of the FRY. The EU will continue to closely follow such a dialogue.

Croatia

Recalling its conclusions of 21 June and 19 July, the Council has considered the idea of the setting up of an EU/Croatia Consultative Task Force with a view to preparing technically for contractual relations with the EC when the relevant conditions are met.

The Council considered that such a Task Force could make a useful contribution to EU-Croatia relations and it invited the Commission to consult with political forces in Croatia on the functions of such a Task Force and the conditions which would be necessary for it to be established, including Croatia’s respect for its international obligations.

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Stability Pact

The Council took note of the work plan of the Special Coordinator of the Stability Pact, Mr. Bodo Hombach. The Council welcomed the preparatory work undertaken to implement the activities of the Pact. The Council pledged the full and active cooperation of the EU in this effort. Measures

taken in the framework of the Pact must respect the EU's competencies and procedures as well as its autonomous decision-making. The EU position in Stability Pact meetings will be prepared by the relevant Council bodies and will be expressed by the Presidency. It stressed the importance of the early convening of the working tables of the Pact. It also underlined the need to continue to develop initiatives to give concrete contents to the Pact. The Council also affirmed the need to avoid duplication of ongoing efforts and to establish a coherent and comprehensive approach with regional activities. The Council adopted guidelines for EU participation in the activities of the Stability Pact and its bodies.

Letter from the outgoing Commission President

The Council took note of the letter, dated 16 July 1999, from the outgoing Commission President, Mr. Jacques Santer, and agreed in general with the valuable recommendations it contained. It invited its competent bodies to examine these recommendations, with a view to an early report by COREPER to the Council.

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Trade

In line with the Declaration by Heads of State and Government at the Sarajevo Stability Pact Summit and building on its Conclusions of 21-22 June the Council reaffirmed that increased trade opportunities would make a significant contribution to the stability and prosperity of the Western Balkans. It welcomed the Commission’s intention to propose in November the renewal of existing autonomous trade measures and invited the Commission to examine possible improvements to the current measures, in addition to those already proposed in its Communication on the Stability and Association Process. It noted that the Commission’s recommendation for negotiating directives for a Stabilisation and Association Agreement with FYROM included substantive proposals on trade, with the perspective of an EU-FYROM free trade area and promotion of intra-regional trade. The Council also invited the Commission to examine how Community assistance could further contribute to building expertise and institutions in the field of trade in the region also with a view to enhancing intra-regional trade.

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MIDDLE EAST PEACE PROCESS - Conclusions

The Council welcomed the signature on 5 September of the Sharm-el-Sheikh Memorandum as a decisive step towards lasting and comprehensive peace in the region and praised Prime Minister Barak and President Arafat for their courage and determination to achieve this goal.

In paying tribute to the contribution of King Abdullah, President Mubarak and Secretary of State Albright in the final phase of the negotiations, the Council noted that the successful outcome was largely a result of direct negotiation between the parties, which bodes well for the next steps of the process. Noting the presence of the Presidency and Special Envoy Moratinos in Sharm-el-Sheikh, the Council reiterated the Union's readiness to be associated with the implementation and, if the parties so wished, to contribute to issues to be dealt with under the resumed Final Status negotiations. A letter had been sent to President Arafat to assure him of the Union's support for the Memorandum and commitment to contribute to its implementation. The Council invited the Presidency, with Special Envoy Moratinos, and the Commission to explore with parties in and outside the region how, against the background of progress on the Palestinian Track, early progress can be achieved on the Multilateral, the Syrian and the Lebanese Tracks.

The Council welcomed the opening of the final status talks in Erez, noting with satisfaction the invitation extended to the Union including the Special Envoy to attend the ceremony.

The Council condemned in the strongest terms the acts of terrorism which had followed the signing of the Sharm-el-Sheikh Memorandum. It strongly supported the stated determination of the parties to deny success to those seeking to frustrate the Peace Process by provocative actions.

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INDEBTEDNESS OF THE POOREST COUNTRIES

The Council took note of a statement by the German Minister asking the Commission to present rapidly - before the IMF meeting on 28-29 September - a proposal regarding the implementation of paragraph 28 of the Cologne European Council Conclusions concerning a common European position on debt relief for the poorest countries (possible utilisation of unused resources of an amount of 1 billion euro from the 6th and 7th European Development Fund).

INFORMAL MINISTERIAL MEETINGS - Use of languages

The Council held a brief exchange of views on the use of languages at informal meetings of Ministers. It instructed the Permanent Representatives Committee to examine this issue further.

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ITEMS APPROVED WITHOUT DEBATE

APPOINTMENTS General Secretariat of the Council The Council adopted the Decisions appointing, for a period of five years with effect from 18 October 1999, Mr Javier SOLANA MADARIAGA, as Secretary-General of the Council, High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy,

and Mr Pierre DE BOISSIEU, as Deputy Secretary-General of the Council.

Committee of the Regions The Council adopted a Decision appointing full members of the Committee of the Regions: Mr J.H.J. VERBURG to replace Mr J.P.J. LAGRAND, Mr H.J.M. KEMPERMAN to replace Ms M. LOUPPEN-LAURANT, Mr H. DIJKSMA to replace Mr P. LOOS, Mr G. VAN KLAVEREN to replace Mr A.B. SAKKERS, alternate members of the Committee of the Regions: Ms C.W. JACOBS to replace Mr N. GERZEE, Mr A.B. SAKKERS to replace Mr J. WALSMA, Mr D.C. DEKKER to replace Mr H. VAN DER GOOT, Mr N. KALLEN-MORREN to replace Mr D.H. KOK,

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for the remainder of their term of office, i.e. until 25 January 2002.

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EXTERNAL RELATIONS Turkey - Conclusions on reconstruction aid The Council is deeply touched and saddened by the loss of life and damage caused by the devastating earthquake. It extends its sympathy to the victims and pledges the EU's support and cooperation in order to ease the suffering of the people of Turkey. The Council welcomes the Commission's actions to date and its intentions concerning further aid to Turkey. It asks the Commission to proceed as rapidly as possible. It looks forward to early consideration of new and substantial assistance for rehabilitation and reconstruction to come from EIB lending as well as macrofinancial assistance and MEDA II, from which Turkey should benefit substantially. The Council underlines the importance of mobilizing assistance as quickly as possible. The Council agrees that the two regulations to underpin the European strategy for Turkey financially should be adopted as soon as possible with a view also to alleviating the wider economic consequences of the earthquake. It attaches importance to their adoption and implementation as soon as possible and asks the European Parliament to take this into account in their consideration. The Council invites the Permanent Representatives Committee to follow closely the implementation of these conclusions. The Council welcomes Foreign Minister Cem's acceptance of the Presidency's invitation to meet EU Ministers today to discuss EU reconstruction aid and EU/Turkey-relations.

Togo - Conclusions on the European Facilitators' mission to Togo The European Union attaches great importance to continuing progress following the signature in Lomé on 29 July of the "Lomé Framework Agreement". The Council has followed closely the work of the three European facilitators 1 aimed at developing the intra-Togolese dialogue and welcomes the contribution they made to resolving the political impasse in Togo, which constitutes an important political objective of the Union. It therefore welcmes the intention of the Commission to consider positively appropriate measures in support of the facilitators' task. The Council will continue to closely monitor developments concerning the facilitators's mission.

1

The EU's facilitators are Mr Georges REISCH, Mr Bernard STASI and Mr Paul VON STÜLPNAGEL.

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Relations with Libya The Council adopted the following conclusions: "1. The Council today adopted a common position amending common position 1999/261/CFSP of 16 April 1999. 2. In view of recent statements by the UN Security Council expressing satisfaction with the positive developments referred to in the UN Secretary General's report of 30 June 1999 as well as with the fact that Libya had made significant progress in accordance with the relevant UN resolutions, the Council agreed to propose to the other partners in the Barcelona process to offer to Libya to become a full member of this process as soon as it has accepted the whole Barcelona acquis." The Common Position adopted today amends its 16 April 1999 Common Position on Libya (which suspended the sanctions imposed in 1992-1993 after the Lockerbie bombing), by equally lifting the sanctions decided in 1986 in reaction to Libyan support to terrorism: restrictions on the freedom of movement of diplomatic and consular personnel, reduction of the staff of diplomatic and consular missions and stricter visa requirements and procedures - the arms embargo however will remain in place. This decision is taken in the light of the report presented by the UN Secretary General on 30 June, which cites several elements suggesting that recent acts by the Libyan authorities were indicative of the Libyan government's renunciation of terrorism.

FRY - sanctions The Council amended its Decision of 10 May 1999 concerning the visa ban imposed against the Federal republic of Yugoslavia, by adding a number of persons to the list of those who are not to be granted visas for entry into EU Member States, namely 13 new members of the FRY government 2, and 8 persons close to the regime whose activities support President Milosevic 3. A number of persons are equally removed from the list 4.

Uzbekistan - first Cooperation Council The Council established the position of the EU to be taken at the first Cooperation Council with Uzbekistan, held immediately after the Council's session (see Press Release No 10848/99 Presse 264).

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BEKO Milan, DJOKIC Nenad, ERIC Milovan, GOJKOVIC Maja, JOJIC Petar, MARKOVIC Ivan, MIRKOVIC Cedomir, NIKCEVIC Zelidrag, NIKOLIC Tomislav, SLJAPIC Nada, VELICKOVIC Nebosja, VUCIC Borka and VUJOVIC Zoran. BABIC Momcilo, DJOKOVIC Milan, LEKOVIC Bane, SIMANOVIC Vojislav, SUVAKOVIC Uros, VITEZOVIC Milorad, ZARIC Sinisa and ZECEVIC Mirjana. MINIC Radonja, SIRADOVIC Djordje, GOJKOVIC Maja and NIKOLIC Tomislav.

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Moldova - second Cooperation Committee The Council established the position of the EU for the second Cooperation Committee with Moldova to be held in Chisinau on 27 September 1999. The Committee will discuss the following points:      recent economic developments and reforms in Moldova, and macro-financial aid; recent developments in the EU (e.g. EMU); cooperation under the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (e.g. progress in implementation of the 1998-1999 PCA work programme); trade and investment issues (market access, investment climate, competition); humanitarian aid.

Romania - establishment of a Joint Consultative Committee The Council approved on behalf of the EU the draft Decision of the EU/Romania Association Council establishing a Joint Consultative Committee, comprising members of the EU Economic and Social Committee and representatives of Romania's Economic and Social Council.

CEECs - participation in EU programmes The Council approved on behalf of the EU the draft Decision of the EU/Slovenia Association Council concerning the modalities of Slovenia's participation in EU programmes in the fields of health and social policy.

Negotiations with MERCOSUR The Council approved the negotiation directives for an Inter-regional Association Agreement with MERCOSUR, which will replace the 1995 Framework Cooperation Agreement. This approval formalises the political consensus reached at the Council on 21 June, in particular as concerns the scope and calendar for the negotiations.

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13.IX.1999 Negotiations with Chile The Council approved the negotiation directives for a Political and Economic Association Agreement with Chile, which will replace the 1996 Framework Cooperation Agreement. This approval formalises the political consensus reached at the Council on 21 June, in particular as concerns the scope and calendar for the negotiations.

EU Memorandum for the 54th UN General Assembly The Council approved the draft EU Memorandum for the 54th UN General Assembly, it being understood that the text may be updated subsequently should developments so require.

TRADE QUESTIONS Anti-dumping - ferro-chrome from Kazakhstan, Russia and Ukraine The Council adopted a Regulation amending Regulation (EC) No 2717/93 imposing a definitive anti-dumping duty of 0.31 euro/kg on imports of ferro-chrome originating in Kazakhstan, Russia and Ukraine. The new Regulation aims at excluding from the anti-dumping duties imports of ferro-chrome with a chromium content lower than 30%. The original 1993 Regulation applied to low carbon ferro-chrome (i.e. with a carbon content by weight of maximum 0.5%), without specifying the minimum chromium content of the product. During the interim review of these measures, aimed at clarifying the product coverage of the measures, the Commission established that low carbon ferro-chrome obtained from alloy steel scrap with a chromium content of up to 30% differs significantly from the product investigated in several respects, and should therefore be excluded from the scope of the anti-dumping measures.

Nepal - trade in textiles The Council adopted a Decision on the provisional application of the agreement with Nepal on trade in textiles, pending the completion of the procedures for its conclusion, and subject to reciprocal provisional application by Nepal. This agreement, initialled on 26 March 1999, is aimed at establishing efficient and workable administrative cooperation with the goal of preventing circumvention of textile trade from quota countries via Nepal, and at ensuring that Nepal textile trade with the EU develops without obstacles.

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13.IX.1999 AGRICULTURE Sugar The Council adopted a Regulation on the common organisation of the market in the sugar sector - consolidated version of Regulation (EEC) No 1785/81 - which constitutes the "official codification", within the meaning of the Interinstitutional Agreement of 20 December 1994.

BUDGET Rectifying and Supplementary Draft Budget n° 4/99 The Council, for its part, established the fourth Rectifying and Supplementary Budget for the financial year 1999, by following all the proposals made in the Commission's Preliminary Draft. The European Parliament is expected to vote on this Budget at its session on 16 September 1999. The Council's Rectifying and Supplementary Budget concerns expenditure related to Kosovo (additional funding still needed for reconstruction), FYROM (payment of an initial tranche of macrofinancial assistance), Turkey (emergency aid following earthquake) and OLAF (funding needed to enable it to become operational on 1 November 1999), Phare, Tacis and Obnova (increased funding) and the dismantling of nuclear installations. This increased expenditure will be financed through redeployment of funds from the EAGGF-Guarantee Section. With regard to commitment appropriations, the Rectifying and Supplementary Budget establishes that 137 million euro will be taken from the EAGGF Guarantee Section to finance in particular the Kosovo Reconstruction Agency (92 million), the macrofinancial assistance to ARYM (15 million) and the humanitarian aid to Turkey (30 million). In relation to payment appropriations, a total of 200 million euro will be redeployed from the EAGGF-Guarantee Section to increase financing notably in favour of the Programmes Phare and Tacis.

JUSTICE AND HOME AFFAIRS New synthetic drug 4-MTA The Council adopted, on the basis of the joint action on new synthetic drugs of 16 June 1997, a decision defining 4-MTA (P-Methylthioamphetamine or 4-Methylthioamphetamine) as a new synthetic drug which is to be made subject to control measures and criminal penalties. This decision stems from the findings of a risk assessment carried out by the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction under the above joint action which proved that it is a potent psychoactive agent constituting a public health risk that has been associated with a number of deaths in the European Union. Under the decision, Member States shall take within three months the necessary measures, in accordance with their national law, to submit MTA-4 to control measures and criminal penalties, as provided for by their obligations under the 1971 UN Convention on Psychotropic Substances.

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INTERNAL MARKET Customs 2000 Programme Further to the political agreement reached at its session of 21 June 1999, the Council adopted its common position on the proposal for a decision amending the current action programme for customs in the Community ("Customs 2000"). The main aim of the proposal is to extend until 31 December 2002 the 1996 Decision which set up an action programme for customs valid until the end of the year 2000. The proposal also goes further, since its intention is to combine in a single legal instrument and under a single budget heading various measures relating particularly to computerisation, vocational training and technical assistance to certain third countries. See also Press release No 9404/99 of 21 June 1999 for further details.

SOCIAL AFFAIRS Protection of workers potentially at risk from explosive atmospheres Having found that it could not accept all the amendments adopted by the European Parliament in second reading, the Council decided to convene the Conciliation Committee in order to reach an agreement with the Parliament regarding the proposed Directive concerning the minimum requirements for improving the safety and health protection of workers potentially at risk from explosive atmospheres.

YOUTH DAPHNE Programme The Council adopted the common position establishing the programme of Community action (the Daphne Programme) (2000-2003) on preventive measures to fight violence against children, young persons and women. For the contents of this programme, see Press Release No 8655/99 (Presse 169) of 27 May 1999.

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10621/99 (Presse 263 - G)

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