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    • Council Meeting · News articles
    • Competitiveness

    European Union (EU) Ministers for Competitiveness met in Brussels on 30 November 2015 for the first part of a Competitiveness Council devoted to issues related to the internal market and industry, the last meeting of its kind under the Luxembourg Presidency. During the meeting chaired by Etienne Schneider, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for the Economy, European Ministers covered for the first time the new strategy for the internal market and also looked at the second competitiveness "check-up". The discussions also covered ways to take advantage of the new programme for better regulations to improve the functioning of the internal market, as well as recommendations for the creation of a system of national competitiveness boards in the Eurozone.

    • · Press releases
    • Justice and Home Affairs, Education, Youth, Culture, Sport
    Researchers, students and interns from third countries – The Council approves a compromise on new rules to make the European Union more accessible

    On 26 November 2015, on behalf of the Council of the European Union, the Committee of Permanent Representatives (Coreper) approved a compromise agreed in trialogue with the European Parliament on a directive which aims to offer a coherent legal framework for third country citizens wishing to enter Europe legally for the purposes of research, study, internships, volunteering, student exchanges and au-pair work. Jean Asselborn, Luxembourg Minister for Immigration and Asylum and President in-office of the JHA Council, expressed his satisfaction with the agreement reached by the Luxembourg Presidency: "I am particularly pleased with this agreement which will offer more legal entry routes into the EU Member States. I am convinced about the added value of this new tool and the beneficial effects it will have. The directive will help to make the European Union more accessible and will attract more young talent to Europe, which will help us to invest in the future".

    • Council Meeting · News articles
    • Education, Youth, Culture, Sport
    Culture Council – Culture in EU external policy and the fight against the destruction of cultural heritage and the illicit trafficking of cultural goods take centre stage in debates

    Three major topics were high on the agenda of European Culture Ministers who met on 24 November 2015 as part of the 'Education, Youth, Culture and Sport' Council chaired by the Luxembourg Minister for Culture,Maggy Nagel: the conclusions to be adopted on culture in EU external relations, in particular as part of development cooperation, the modification of the work plan (2015–2018) for culture with the priority on intercultural dialogue, and a public debate on the destruction of cultural heritage and the illicit trafficking of cultural goods. Minister Nagel said this last debate was particularly marked by 'current events dominated by the acts of barbarism in Paris'.

    • Council Meeting · News articles
    • Education, Youth, Culture, Sport
    Sport Council – Debate on the educational potential of sport for young people, including young migrants

    The European Ministers for Sport met in Brussels on 24 November 2015 during the second day of the 'Education, Youth, Culture and Sport' Council. The Ministers adopted conclusions on the promotion of motor skills, physical and sport activities for children as well as conclusions aimed at strengthening the EU's position in the World Anti-Doping Agency. The Ministers also held a debate on the educational potential of sport for young people, including young migrants. Romain Schneider, who chaired the Council, described sport as a 'very important pillar' and a 'springboard' that can provide opportunities for young people.

    • Other meeting · News articles
    • Competitiveness, Economic and Financial Affairs

    On 24 November 2015, during the second day of the "Manufuture 2015" conference, entitled "Strategic Investments in European Manufacturing to Rise to Global Challenges", which was held in Luxembourg in the framework of the Luxembourg Presidency of the Council of the European Union (EU), European industry stakeholders and experts continued discussions on innovation in the manufacturing sector. In his opening address, Marc Hansen, Secretary of State for Higher Education and Research, declared that innovation through research helps to boost reindustrialisation.

    • Council Meeting · News articles
    • Education, Youth, Culture, Sport
    Education and Youth Council – The prevention of radicalisation dominated ministerial debates

    Ministers of Youth and Education for EU Member States met on 23 November 2015 in Brussels for the first part of the 'Education, Youth, Culture and Sports' Council. Following the tragic events in Paris on 13 November 2015, the Ministers discussed the need to prevent radicalisation by reinforcing social inclusion and preventing the marginalisation of young people. Claude Meisch, Minister for National Education, Childhood and Youth, chaired the Council. During the press conference, he remarked that the Ministers examined how education, schools, childcare facilities and youth initiatives could contribute towards preventing such 'barbaric acts'.

    • Other meeting · News articles
    • Competitiveness, Economic and Financial Affairs
    'Manufacture 2015' Conference- The importance of investing in innovation in the manufacturing sector at the centre of discussions

    In the context of the Luxembourg Presidency of the Council of the European Union (EU), the 'Manufacture 2015' Conference was held in Luxembourg on 23 and 24 November 2015. The main aim of this conference, which brought together actors and experts from European industry, was to identify and validate new political, financial and scientific instruments which could help strengthen and improve research and innovation in Europe. In their opening speech, the speakers stressed the importance of investing in the manufacturing sector. Francine Closener, Secretary of State for the Economy, pointed to innovation as the key to competitiveness in the European manufacturing industry.

    • Council Meeting · Background notes
    • Education, Youth, Culture, Sport

    Education, Youth, Culture and Sports Council - Background brief Presidency discussion paper: The role of youth policy and youth work with regards to migration - supporting intercultural awareness and the integration of migrants Acting together against the destruction and illicit

    • Other meeting · Press releases
    • Education, Youth, Culture, Sport
    Joint declaration of the Ministers for Culture of the European Union, of the Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport, and of the President of the Committee on Culture and Education of the European Parliament

    "The tragic events of 13 November 2015 in Paris once again plunge the European Union into mourning. They are a wake-up call. As the Ministers for Culture of the European Union and senior Representatives of the EU institutions, we wish to express our solidarity with the victims and their loved ones, and with the French people as a whole. We also wish to reiterate our condemnation of this senseless barbarity which seeks to undermine our essential values in the most violent way. Faced with such violence and attempts to disrupt our ways of life, our beliefs and our freedoms, culture - even more so than in the past - has a crucial contribution to make towards opening minds and promoting tolerance, intercultural dialogue, social integration and mutual respect. One of the foremost responses which Europe should provide to intolerance, xenophobia, obscurantism, fanaticism of all kinds and radicalisation lies in culture."

    • Other meeting · News articles
    • Education, Youth, Culture, Sport
    Conference on Dual Careers of Athletes – Romain Schneider spoke in favour of the best possible provision for balancing sport with study and the best possibilities for training and transition for a post-sports career

    Within the framework of Luxembourg's Presidency of the Council of the European Union (EU), the Ministry of Sport, working together with the European Commission and Sportlycée Luxembourg, organised an international conference on promoting the dual career of athletes. It was held on 20 November 2015 in Munsbach. The meeting, which brought together experts, sportspeople and politicians, set out to report on work done at European level on the subject, and to enable exchanges of experience and ideas between those involved, with a view to identifying plans for progress "on all aspects of a subject which is one of our Presidency's priorities", as emphasised by Romain Schneider, Minister for Sports, who gave the opening address at the conference.

    • Other meeting · News articles
    • Competitiveness
    2015 SME Assembly – An ambitious policy for SMEs is 'a priority for the Luxembourg Presidency'

    In the context of the Luxembourg Presidency of the Council of the European Union (EU), the European 2015 SME Assembly was organised by the European Commission in Luxembourg, from 18 to 20 November 2015, as the culmination of the European SME (small and medium-sized enterprises) Week. The conference, which sets out to be a major event for SMEs in Europe, seeks to offer these enterprises a platform for exchange and debate, and thus to enable them to participate in shaping policies specific to their needs. The Secretary of State for the Economy, Francine Closener, and the Commissioner for the Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs, Elżbieta Bieńkowska, opened the debates on 19 November, in the presence of the Grand Duchess of Luxembourg, Maria Teresa.

    • Other meeting · News articles
    • Competitiveness
    2015 SME Assembly - The obstacles experienced by small businesses at the heart of discussions

    Dans le contexte de la Présidence luxembourgeoise du Conseil de l’Union européenne (UE), l'Assemblée européenne des PME 2015 a été organisée par la Commission européenne à Luxembourg, du 18 au 20 novembre 2015, en point d’orgue de la semaine européenne des petites et moyennes entreprises (PME). Le dernier jour de la conférence, plusieurs sessions ont été consacrées aux problèmes qu’affrontent les PME, comme les barrières au sein du marché intérieur ou le déficit en matière de compétences numériques. Costas Andropoulos, Chef d’unité de la Direction générale du marché intérieur, de l’industrie, de l’entrepreneuriat et des PME (DG Grow) de la Commission européenne, a conclu la conférence en indiquant que la Commission va retenir de ces sessions la nécessité de continuer à ‘penser aux petits d’abord’, de combler les lacunes restantes dans le marché unique, et de revoir les règles de TVA.

    • Other meeting · News articles
    • Competitiveness, Transport, Telecommmunications and Energy
    European Data Forum 2015 – Marc Hansen believes that 'Europe has a unique opportunity to invest in the development and deployment of HPC technology and Big Data to ensure the competitiveness of its research and industries'

    Under the Luxembourg Presidency of the Council of the European Union, the 2015 edition of the 'European Data Forum' is being held in Luxembourg on 16 and 17 November 2015. This annual meeting of industry, research, public authorities and community initiatives, devoted to the challenges relating to Big Data and the data economy aims to respond to the question of 'how to use data integration in a European Digital Single Market?'. Marc Hansen, Secretary of State for Higher Education and Research, opened the second day of the conference with the European Commissioner for Digital Economy, Günther Oettinger.

    • Other meeting · News articles
    • Competitiveness, Transport, Telecommmunications and Energy
    European Data Forum 2015 – For Xavier Bettel, the digital single market is 'an area where we can demonstrate that Europe is able to deliver'

    Under the Luxembourg Presidency of the Council of the European Union, the 2015 edition of the "European Data Forum" is being held in Luxembourg on 16 and 17 November 2015. This annual meeting of industry, research, public authorities and community initiatives, devoted to the challenges relating to Big Data and the data economy, aims to respond to the question of 'how to use data integration in a European Digital Single Market?'. "To fully reap the potential of the rise of Big Data we have to ensure that data, its relays and its intermediaries, can all be trusted", explained Xavier Bettel in his opening address on 16 November 2015. For his part, Andrus Ansip, Vice-President of the European Commission responsible for the Digital Single Market, indicated that the ambition of the Commission is to make the data economy work in the EU.

    • Other meeting · Press releases
    • Education, Youth, Culture, Sport
    The Directors General of Vocational Training held a meeting in Luxembourg

    A meeting of the Directors General of Vocational Training was held in Luxembourg on 16 and 17 November 2015 in the context of the Luxembourg Presidency of the Council of the European Union. The Minister for National Education, Childhood and Youth, Claude Meisch, first of all referred to the complex and difficult international context relating to the refugee situation. Claude Meisch believes that it is necessary to prevent a considerable humanitarian disaster through the cooperation of all EU countries. The work of the European Training Foundation (ETF) has shown that in the countries bordering on the European Union, vocational training and education generally contribute actively and sustainably towards integration and social peace within our societies.

    • Other meeting · News articles
    • Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs, Education, Youth, Culture, Sport
    'Digital Economy Conference: Let’s be ready for the new jobs!' - Experts discussed the investment in human capital

    The second day of the event 'Digital Economy Conference: Let’s be ready for the new jobs!' organised by the Ministry of Labour, Employment and the Social and Solidarity Economy, in cooperation with the European Commission, was held in Luxembourg on 11 November 2015. On this occasion, the panel of experts was asked to discuss investment in human capital to deal with the ongoing digital revolution. The Minister for Labour, Employment and the Social and Solidarity Economy, Nicolas Schmit, concluded the conference by calling for reflection on 'anew digital deal'.

    • Council Meeting · Press releases
    • Competitiveness
    The European steel industry is the focus of the Extraordinary Competitiveness Council in Brussels

    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.

  • Updated 15-07-2015