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On 15 December 2015, the Luxembourg presidency reached a provisional agreement with European Parliament representatives on common rules for the protection of trade secrets and confidential information of EU companies. Etienne Schneider, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Economic Affairs of Luxembourg, congratulated the EU institutions for their excellent cooperation and for the successful outcome, and made the following comments: "Nowadays there is great diversity of systems and definitions in member states as regards the treatment and the protection of trade secrets. This new instrument will bring legal clarity and a level playing field to all European companies. It will also help increase their interest in the development of research and innovation activities”.
The Luxembourg Presidency has called an extraordinary meeting of the Competitiveness Council to respond to the deepening crisis currently affecting the European steel industry, which has led to a series of plant closures and job losses across the European Union. Chaired by the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Economy, Étienne Schneider, this meeting will be held in Brussels on 9 November 2015. Economy Ministers will review the situation and examine the measures needed to restore the industry's competitiveness.
On 7 October 2015, the Committee of Permanent Representatives of the Council (Coreper) endorsed the agreements between the Luxembourg presidency and European Parliament representatives for updating internal market rules for personal protective equipment, gas appliances and cableways to further enhance consumer safety and ensure a level playing field for companies. The new rules are also intended to improve market surveillance by public authorities without imposing unnecessary burdens and costs on industry.
Meeting in Luxembourg on 1 October 2015, European Ministers in charge of competitiveness will proceed with the first edition of the competitiveness check-up. The Ministers will also look at the 'better regulation' agenda, with a particular focus on the improvement of the functioning of the internal market. The Council will also be informed about the progress of the implementation of the unitary patent protection system. Chaired by Luxembourg's Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Economy, Étienne Schneider, this Council session will end with a lunch discussion on the reform of the European Emissions Trading System. The second part of the lunch discussion will be devoted to the recent events concerning emission tests currently rocking the motor industry.
The informal meeting of Ministers for Competitiveness, who are responsible for the economy and research, will be held on 20 and 21 July 2015 in Luxembourg at the European Convention Center Luxembourg (ECCL).