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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.

    • Informal Ministerial Meeting · News articles
    • General Affairs, Territorial Cooperation
    Informal meeting of Ministers for Regional Development and ministers for Urban Policy – The need to bolster the regional cohesion of Europe at the heart of discussions

    The Minister for Sustainable Development and Infrastructure, François Bausch, chairedthe informal meetings of EU Ministers for Regional Planning and Urban Policy in Luxembourg on 26 and 27 November 2015, in the context of the Luxembourg Presidency of the Council of the EU. The regional cohesion of Europe was a crucial point of discussion at the meetings. It means finding solutions to the very unequal development of European regions and cities over the past decades – a trend which has grown with the economic and financial crises, as François Bausch explained during the press conference that followed the meetings on 27 November 2015. In his view, one of the more glaring consequences of the loss of EU cohesion is the unequal response to the migration crises.

    • Informal Ministerial Meeting · Press releases
    • General Affairs, Territorial Cooperation
    François Bausch will host the Informal Ministerial Meetings on Territorial Cohesion and Urban Policy in Luxembourg

    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.

    • 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.

    • 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.

    • 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.

    • Council Meeting · News articles
    • General Affairs, Territorial Cooperation
    A General Affairs Council dedicated to cohesion policy

    On 18 November 2015, Camille Gira, Secretary of State for Sustainable Development chaired the General Affairs Council dedicated to issues related to EU cohesion policy. The Council adopted three sets of conclusions: simplification of the European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF); 25 years of European Territorial Cooperation (Interreg); and the contribution of the ESIF to the shift towards a low-carbon economy. The Council agreed on the possibility for Member States to make use of Interreg to respond to challenges due to the migration crisis.

    • 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.

    • Council Meeting · News articles
    • General Affairs
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    Luxembourg's Minister of Foreign and European Affairs, Jean Asselborn, chaired the 'General Affairs Council' (GAC) of the European Union which was held on 17 November 2015 in Brussels. Jean Asselborn said that the agenda for the meeting of the Council was "very busy". It included preparations for the European Council on 17 and 18 December 2015, the first dialogue on the rule of law in the European Union as well as the state of play of negotiations between the Council, the European Commission and the European Parliament on the inter-institutional agreement on improving regulations, called 'Better Legislation'. The Commission presented its work programme for 2016. Finally, the Luxembourg Presidency, in agreement with the future Dutch Presidency of the Council, presented a road map for the 2016 European Semester.

    • 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.

    • 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.

    • Council Meeting · News articles
    • Competitiveness
    Competitiveness Council - Ministers agree on the seriousness of the steel industry's situation and on the need to take measures that will ensure the survival of the European steel sector

    EU Ministers in charge of Competitiveness met in Brussels on 9 November 2015 for an Extraordinary Meeting of the Competitiveness Council chaired by Etienne Schneider, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Economy. The discussions focused on the "deep crisis which is currently affecting the European steel sector", which has led to a series of plant closures and loss of jobs in the EU. "Our meeting led to some concrete points of action" Etienne Schneider welcomed, referring to the Presidency's conclusions, which list several measures designed to support the steel sector. Jyrki Katainen, Vice-President of the European Commission in charge of Employment, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness, highlighted the need to adopt "structural measures" at the level of Member-States and the EU, as well as on an international level, so as to create a "level playing field" for the steel market.

  • Updated 15-07-2015