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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.

    • Other meeting · News articles
    • Transport, Telecommmunications and Energy
    54th meeting of COSAC – The national representatives discussed the strategy for a digital single market in Europe

    The representatives of national parliaments of EU Member States who met in Luxembourg on 30 November and 1 December 2015 for the 54th meeting of COSAC chose to close their first working day with a discussion on the strategy for a digital single market in Europe. On this occasion, the European Commissioner for the Digital Single Market and Commission Vice-President, Andrus Ansip, presented this initiative launched by the European Commission on 6 May 2015. The objective of the initiative is to break down regulatory barriers in the digital age and to transform the 28 national markets into a single online market. Following the speeches given by national MPs, the Commissioner welcomed a 'large consensus' with regard to the establishment of the digital single market in Europe.

    • Council Meeting · News articles
    • Transport, Telecommmunications and Energy
    TTE Council – Energy Ministers adopt conclusions on Energy Union governance and reach an agreement on energy efficiency labelling

    EU Energy Ministers met in Brussels on 26 November 2015 for a Transport, Telecommunications and Energy Council (TTE) devoted to energy issues. The meeting, chaired by Étienne Schneider, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for the Economy, resulted in the adoption of conclusions on Energy Union governance and a general approach to the proposal for a regulation establishing a framework for energy efficiency labelling. Ministers also held an orientation debate on a new energy market design.

    • Council Meeting · Press releases
    • Transport, Telecommmunications and Energy
    Étienne Schneider will chair the meeting of the 'Energy' Council in Brussels

    On 26 November 2015, the Deputy Prime Minister, Economy Minister Étienne Schneider will chair a meeting of the 'Energy' Council in Brussels. During the meeting several pillars of the EU's Energy Union be discussed: Energy Union governance, the new organisation of the electricity market and energy efficiency, more specifically, new product labelling.

    • 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.

    • Council Meeting · Press releases
    • Transport, Telecommmunications and Energy
    Support for interoperable digital services - Decision adopted by the Council

    On 23 November 2015 the Council adopted a decision on a programme to promote the interoperability of digital services across Europe (ISA²). The programme aims to help member states' public administrations interact more efficiently with each other and offer more user-friendly digital services for citizens and businesses. It will provide funding for projects to be carried out by the Commission in cooperation with member states.

    • 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.

    • Ministers in the European Parliament · News articles
    • Transport, Telecommmunications and Energy
    Before the European Parliament, Nicolas Schmit justifies maintaining the

    On 11 November 2015, Nicolas Schmit, the Minister responsible for relations with the European Parliament during the Luxembourg Presidency of the EU Council, spoke to MEPs on behalf of the Council at the plenary session in Brussels, during a debate on the so-called "zero rating" practice used by access providers (Internet, mobile) in the context of the recently adopted regulation on open Internet access and the end of roaming charges.

    • Other meeting · News articles
    • Transport, Telecommmunications and Energy
    Conference on road transport: The fight against social dumping takes centre stage during the first day

    As part of the Luxembourg Presidency of the Council of the EU, the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) and the Economic and Social Council of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg organised a conference on the theme of "Road transport: social dumping and integration of cross-border infrastructure" on 11 and 12 October 2015. Social dumping in the road transportation sector took centre stage during the first day. The Minister for Infrastructure, François Bausch stressed that the concept of social dumping is "extensively used" without having a legal definition at European level.

    • Other meeting · News articles
    • Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs, Transport, Telecommmunications and Energy
    'Digital Economy Conference: Let’s be ready for the new Jobs!' - European experts addressed the digitalisation of the economy and its impact on employment

    On 10 and 11 November 2015, the Luxembourg Presidency, with the support of the European Commission, organised a conference entitled 'Digital Economy: Let’s be ready for the new Jobs!' During the first day of the conference, decision makers, social partners and experts discussed the digitalisation of the economy and its impact on employment, public policy responses to this challenge and the role of the European Social Fund.

    • 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