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    • Other meeting · Press releases
    • General Affairs
    Luxembourg presents the achievements of its Presidency of the Council of the European Union

    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.

    • Other meeting · Press releases
    • Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs
    Mission accomplished by the Luxembourg Presidency in the area of public health

    The Minister of Health, Lydia Mutsch, provided a positive general assessment of the Luxembourg Presidency of the Council of the EU and of the work carried out over the past six months in the area of public health. Real progress was made on several major issues relating to the health of our citizens, such as in areas of the reduction of alcohol-related harm due to excessive consumption of alcohol; access to personalised medical care; dementia; the fight against drugs; quality of medical devices; protection against ionising radiation; as well as food safety. In all these areas, the Presidency continuously sought to tackle these problems in line with its motto, meaning placing the full focus of the measures on the patient and on innovation. The majority of the efforts were endorsed by the Council and the Ministers for Health of the Member States on 7 December 2015.

    • Other meeting · Press releases
    • General Affairs
    Jean Asselborn chaired the intergovernmental conference between the European Union and Montenegro

    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".

    • Other meeting · Press releases
    • Justice and Home Affairs
    EU data protection reform: Council confirms agreement with the European Parliament

    On 18 December 2015, the Permanent Representatives Committee (Coreper) confirmed the compromise texts agreed with the European Parliament on data protection reform. The agreement was reached between the Council, Parliament and Commission on the 15 December. This agreement is in line with the request from the European Council for negotiations on data protection reform to be concluded by the end of 2015. Félix Braz, Luxembourg Minister of Justice and President of the Council said: "It is a fundamental agreement with important consequences. This reform not only strengthens the rights of citizens, but also adapts the rules to the digital age for companies, whilst reducing the administrative burden. These are ambitious and forward-looking texts. We can have full confidence in the result."

    • Other meeting · Press releases
    • Agriculture and Fisheries

    On 18 December 2015, under the Luxembourg Presidency and subject to the European Parliament and Council formal vote, the Coreper (Permanent Representatives Committee) approved a final package on plant health. The Council and European Parliament representatives finalised the overall compromise during a trilogue meeting held on 16 December.

    • Other meeting · Press releases
    • Agriculture and Fisheries

    On 18 December 2015, under the Luxembourg Presidency and subject to the European Parliament and Council formal adoption, the Coreper (Permanent Representatives Committee) approved a final compromise on the draft "Animal Breeding Regulation". The European Parliament and the Council representatives identified the compromise package during a trilogue meeting held on 16 December.

    • · Press releases
    • Transport, Telecommmunications and Energy

    On 18 December 2015, the Permanent Representatives Committee (Coreper) endorsed an informal deal struck with the European Parliament on the first rules to strengthen the security of network and information systems across the EU. The network and information security (NIS) directive will increase cooperation between member states and lay down security obligations for operators of essential services and digital service providers.

    • Other meeting · Press releases
    • General Affairs
    Luxembourg presents the preliminary achievements of its Presidency of the Council of the European Union

    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.

    • Council Meeting · Press releases
    • Environment
    National emissions of air pollutants - Council agrees its position on new limits

    On 16 December 2015 the Council agreed on a general approach for the proposed directive to reduce national emissions of certain pollutants (the so called new NEC Directive). This agreement, reached during the Environment Council meeting, will serve as a basis for negotiations with the European Parliament on this file. The President of the Environment Council, Luxembourg Minister Carole Dieschbourg, commented: “Air pollution affects the health of all citizens. Urgent action is needed to improve the air quality in Europe. After difficult discussions, we achieved a balanced compromise today, which gets the support of many member states and is still ambitious. We should strive towards an outcome, which respects the ambition level of the directive and the spirit of the Paris Climate Agreement".

    • · Press releases
    • Justice and Home Affairs
    Procedural safeguards for children in criminal proceedings - Council confirms deal with European Parliament

    On 16 December 2015, the Permanent Representatives Committee (Coreper) approved a compromise text agreed with the European Parliament on a directive on procedural safeguards for children in criminal proceedings. Félix Braz, Luxembourg Minister for Justice and President of the Council said: "The agreement reached with the European Parliament is an important step forward for the European judicial area. This is the first binding instrument in this area and is a real breakthrough, particularly as regards the assistance of children by a lawyer. The new directive will contribute to enhancing mutual trust between the judicial systems of the Union."

    • Council Meeting · Press releases
    • Agriculture and Fisheries

    On 16 December 2015, under the Luxembourg Presidency and subject to the European Parliament and Council formal vote, the Special Committee on Agriculture (SCA) approved a final compromise on a proposal for regulation on school milk, fruit and vegetables scheme. The Council and the European Parliament representatives identified the overall compromise during a trilogue meeting held on 10 December. On the same occasion the SCA approved a Council Regulation on the same subject, which completes the school scheme, notably as regards the fixing of the EU aid.

    • Council Meeting · Press releases
    • Foreign Affairs
    EU-Canada trade negotiating mandate made public

    The Council decided on 15 December 2015 to declassify the directives given to the Commission to negotiate a comprehensive economic and trade agreement with Canada. The 2009 negotiating directives, as well as a 2011 modification to allow for talks on investment protection, were made public the same day. The decision was taken without discussion at an extraordinary meeting of the Council, in the margins of a WTO ministerial conference in Nairobi. It was taken by common accord.

    • Council Meeting · Press releases
    • General Affairs
    Better law-making - Council approves agreement with the European Parliament and the Commission

    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.

    • Ministers in the European Parliament · Press releases
    • Justice and Home Affairs
    'Data Protection' Package: a historic agreement

    On 15 December 2015, the Luxembourg Presidency of the Council of the European Union reached an informal agreement in trialogues with the European Parliament on the 'Data Protection' Package which will set out new European rules on privacy in the digital age. The agreement reached by the Luxembourg Presidency will have to be confirmed at the level of the Council of the EU by the 28 Member States, and will be addressed by a Coreper meeting to be held before 21 December 2015. Félix Braz, Luxembourg's Minister for Justice and President of the Council, declared: 'It is a fundamental agreement with significant consequences. This reform not only strengthens the rights of citizens, but also adapts the rules to the digital age for companies, whilst reducing the administrative burden. They are ambitious and forward-looking texts. We can have full confidence in the result.'

    • Council Meeting · Press releases
    • General Affairs
    Jean Asselborn will chair the

    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").

    • Other meeting · Press releases
    • Competitiveness
    Trade secrets protection - Luxembourg presidency seals deal with Parliament

    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”.

    • Council Meeting · Press releases
    • Foreign Affairs
    The Luxembourg Presidency at the Foreign Affairs Council – Trade and the 10th Ministerial Conference of the WTO in Nairobi from 16 to 19 December 2015

    Luxembourg's Minister for Foreign and European Affairs, Jean Asselborn, and the Minister for Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Affairs, Romain Schneider, were in Nairobi, Kenya, from 16 to 19 December to chair the European Union's Foreign Affairs (Trade) Council and to attend the 10th Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organization (WTO).

    • Other meeting · Press releases
    • Environment
    COP21- An ambitious and credible agreement; a roadmap for a better world

    On 12 December 2015, an agreement was reached at COP21 which, from 2020, sets a new universal, legally binding action plan to limit global warming. "This agreement combines concrete action with solidarity and transparency. It is a credible and ambitious agreement, ensuring sustainable development. The agreement is not perfect, we were hoping for an even more ambitious agreement, but it is the result of laborious negotiations and, above all, it has been approved by all the countries. The climate change conference is the culmination of years of efforts, but it is also only the start of the process. We must build on the commitment of our citizens and the economic world to continue to strengthen our ambition and ensure that this agreement is a roadmap for a better world", declared Carole Dieschbourg, Luxembourg's Minister for Environment and President of the EU Environment Council.

    • Council Meeting · Press releases
    • Transport, Telecommmunications and Energy

    On 10 December 2015, the Council adopted its position at first reading on directives on railway safety and interoperability, and a regulation on the European Railway Agency (ERA). Together, these legislative acts make up the technical pillar of the fourth railway package. To conclude the procedure, they still need to be formally approved by the European Parliament at second reading.

  • Updated 15-07-2015