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With the 12th Luxembourg Presidency of the Council of the EU finished on 31 December 2015, a report of the main results achieved over the past six months was published on 19 January 2016. The Luxembourg Presidency worked, in keeping with its traditions and convictions, to put European citizens at the heart of its initiatives, while ensuring that the real, direct interests of citizens are better taken account of in all EU policies.
The Luxembourg Minister for Foreign and European Affairs, Jean Asselborn, chaired the seventh intergovernmental conference held between the European Union and Montenegro in Brussels on 21 December 2015. The seventh intergovernmental conference held between the European Union and Montenegro has opened two Chapters in the accession negotiations, specifically Chapiter 14, "Transport policy" and 15 "Energy". Jean Asselborn outlined that "with the two chapters opened today, we have a total of 22 out of 35 negotiations chapters open. This makes Montenegro the country that is currently the most advanced in its negotiations with the European Union, and sets a positive example for the entire region".
With the 12th Luxembourg Presidency of the Council of the EU drawing to a close, a preliminary report of the main results achieved over the past six months was published on 18 December 2015. The Luxembourg Presidency worked, in keeping with its traditions and convictions, to put European citizens at the heart of its initiatives, while ensuring that the real, direct interests of citizens are better taken account of in all EU policies.
The European Union will improve the way it legislates to ensure that EU laws better serve citizens and businesses. That is the main purpose of an agreement on better law-making between the Council, Parliament and the Commission, which the Council endorsed on 15 December 2015. "The agreement on better law-making reflects the joint commitment of the EU institutions to make the life of citizens and companies easier. Laws need to be simple to understand and to implement, and that's precisely what the agreement seeks to ensure", said Nicolas Schmit, Minister for Labour, Employment and Social and Solidary Economy.
The Luxembourg Minister of Foreign and European Affairs, Jean Asselborn, will chair the European Union's "General Affairs" Council (GAC) on 15 December 2015 in Brussels. The GAC will start by preparing the European Council on 17 and 18 December. In this context, the Ministers will examine draft conclusions and will review the Five Presidents' Report on completing the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU). The Ministers will also exchange views on the subjects of migration, the fight against terrorism, the single market and climate policy, as well as the role of the United Kingdom within the EU. The Council will then examine the negotiations with the European Parliament and the European Commission on the interinstitutional agreement on better regulation ("IIA").
On 3 December 2015, the Council adopted a regulation reforming the General Court. The aim of the reform is to enable the General Court to face an increasing workload and to ensure that legal redress in the EU is guaranteed within a reasonable time. "The reform of the General Court reinforces an institution that has provided significant impetus to European integration", said Félix Braz, Minister for Justice of Luxembourg and President of the Council.
In the context of the Luxembourg Presidency of the Council of the European Union, the Minister for Sustainable Development and Infrastructure, François Bausch, will chair the Informal Ministerial Meetings on Territorial Cohesion and Urban Policy that will take place on 26 and 27 November 2015 in Luxembourg. Ministers will discuss on 26 November concrete actions to support territorial cohesion and their impact on overall growth and development. On 27 November, the Ministers responsible for Urban Policy will address how to support small and medium-sized cities as places of attraction and providers of essential services – from a general and a cross-border perspective.
The General Affairs Council (GAC) on 13 October 2015 will prepare for the meeting of the European Council of 15 and 16 October and will examine the draft conclusions drawn up in preparation for this meeting of Heads of State and government. The Ministers will then discuss the European Commission work programme for 2016. Finally, Jean Asselborn, Minister for Foreign and European Affairs, who will chair the meeting, will provide his counterparts with information on the status of progress on an interinstitutional agreement (IIA) to improve regulation.
On 14 September 2015, the General Affairs Council chaired by Jean Asselborn, Luxembourg Minister of Immigration and Asylum, adopted a positive assessment that the conditions to move to the first step of phase two on the high seas of EUNAVFOR MED have been met, the naval operation having fulfilled all military objectives related to phase 1 focusing upon the collection and analysis of information and intelligence.