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    • Third Country Meeting · Press releases
    • Justice and Home Affairs
    Initialling of the

    Under the Luxembourg Presidency of the Council of the European Union, on 8 and 9 September 2015 a meeting of senior officials of the European Union and the United States was held within the context of Justice and Home Affairs. The so-called "Umbrella agreement" was initialed on the margins of the meeting. This framework agreement governs the conditions for transferring and processing personal data in the field of policing and criminal law. First and foremost, it aims to protect personal data transferred between the EU and the United States. The initialling of the agreement represents great progress after over four years of negotiations.

    • Other meeting · Interviews
    • Justice and Home Affairs
    On the airwaves of Bel RTL and 100.7 fm, Xavier Bettel explained the mediating role which the Luxembourg Presidency wishes to play in the EU regarding the migration crisis

    In two interviews, the Prime Minister of Luxembourg, Xavier Bettel, set out the "mediating role" which Luxembourg, in its Presidency of the Council of the European Union, wishes to play in the EU which is faced with a huge influx of refugees, "people who are leaving everything behind in order to survive, and who are risking their lives to do so", as the Prime Minister pointed out. "Luxembourg is coordinating" the response to the situation; Luxembourg is seeking to "bring people together around the table" explained the Prime Minister.

    • Ministers in the European Parliament · Press releases
    • Economic and Financial Affairs
    Pierre Gramegna at the European Parliament for the presentation of the draft EU budget on 8 September 2015

    On 8 September 2015, Pierre Gramegna, Minster for Finance, will present the Council's position on the draft EU budget for 2016 before the plenary of the European Parliament in Strasbourg. The main objective of the EU budget for 2016 will be to support economic recovery through investments which target growth and boost employment, whilst stimulating finance for migration policies and external EU action.

    • Council Meeting · News articles
    • Agriculture and Fisheries
    Extraordinary Agriculture Council – Ministers 'satisfied' with the Commission's package of measures worth EUR 500 million in response to the worrying market situation in certain EU Member States, stressed Fernand Etgen

    European Ministers for Agriculture 'welcomed' the European Commission's package of measures in response to the slump in prices and income in the dairy and livestock sectors in certain Member States, at the extraordinary Agriculture Council held in Brussels on 7 September 2015. This meeting was convened by the Luxembourg Presidency in order to set out possible additional measures to address the worrying market situation in the short term. Fernand Etgen, Luxembourg's Minister for Agriculture and President of the Council, welcomed the European Commission's package of measures which will allow for EUR 500 million to be used for the benefit of farmers 'immediately'.

    • Other meeting · Press releases
    • Education, Youth, Culture, Sport
    Official launch of the European Week of Sport in Brussels in the presence of the Minister of Sport, Romain Schneider

    Within the framework of the Luxembourg Presidency of the Council of the European Union, the Minister of Sport, Romain Schneider, attended the official launch of the first European Week of Sport on 7 September 2015 in Brussels. The European Week of Sport aims to raise awareness and make information available to European citizens about the general lack of physical activity and to encourage participation in physical activity and/or sport during this European Week of Sport.

    • Informal Ministerial Meeting · News articles
    • Foreign Affairs
    Informal Foreign Affairs Council: Jean Asselborn and Federica Mogherini call for a common mechanism to share responsibilities in the field of migration and asylum

    An Informal Meeting of Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the EU (Gymnich) was held in Luxembourg on 4 and 5 September 2015 and focused on the migratory crisis. Luxembourg's Minister of Foreign and European Affairs, Jean Asselborn, stressed in particular the need for the distribution of asylum seekers and refugees to be based on established criteria. He was supported by the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini, who highlighted the importance of setting up a mechanism for sharing responsibilities and called for a truly common and rapid system.

    • Informal Ministerial Meeting · News articles
    • Foreign Affairs
    Migratory pressure at the heart of statements made ahead of the Informal Meeting of Ministers for Foreign Affairs of the EU in Luxembourg

    The EU's response to migratory pressure has been at the heart of statements made ahead of the Informal Meeting of Ministers for Foreign Affairs of the EU to be held on 4 and 5 September 2015 in Luxembourg. Luxembourg's Minister for Foreign and European Affairs, Jean Asselborn, seeks a European solution to migratory pressure and calls for solidarity, stressing the need for a system of quotas or a plan for the "humane" distribution of migrants. For the German Minister for Foreign Affairs, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, a "common European asylum policy with common standards and procedures in Europe" is needed, a position shared by his Italian counterpart Paolo Gentiloni. Meanwhile, the Hungarian Minister, Péter Szijjártó, stated that Hungary - currently facing "a tragic situation" - complies with all European regulations.

    • Other meeting · News articles
    • Foreign Affairs
    Interparliamentary Conference - Nicolas Schmit emphasised the need to focus, strengthen and reshape the European Neighbourhood Policy, taking into account the needs of the partners

    The Chamber of Deputies organised the interparliamentary conference on the common foreign and security policy (CFSP) in Luxembourg on 5 and 6 September 2015. Nicolas Schmit, the minister responsible for relations with the European Parliament during the Luxembourg Presidency of the EU Council, spoke on European challenges relating to the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP).

    • Informal Ministerial Meeting · Press releases
    • Foreign Affairs
    Informal Gymnich Meeting of EU Ministers of Foreign Affairs on 4 and 5 September 2015 in Luxembourg

    At the joint invitation of the Foreign and European Affairs Minister, Jean Asselborn, and the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini, the EU Ministers of Foreign Affairs will meet on 4 and 5 September 2015 in Luxembourg for their customary informal Gymnich meeting.

    • Third Country Meeting · Press releases
    • Economic and Financial Affairs
    Luxembourg's Minister of Finances, Pierre Gramegna, represented the European Union at the G20 meeting held in Ankara on 4 and 5 September 2015

    Pierre Gramegna attended the meeting of G20 finance ministers and central bank governors held in Ankara on 4 and 5 September 2015. He represented the European Union alongside Pierre Moscovici, European Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs, Taxation and Customs, and Mario Draghi, President of the ECB.

    • Council Meeting · Press releases
    • Economic and Financial Affairs
    EU budget 2016 - Council ready to negotiate with European Parliament

    On 4 September 2015, the Council adopted by unanimity its position on the draft 2016 EU budget. This confirms a political agreement reached by the Permanent Representatives Committee in July. "I am pleased that today the Council formally adopted its position on the draft EU budget for 2016. The unanimous support provides the Presidency with a particularly strong mandate for the negotiations with the European Parliament in the autumn which we wish to hold in a spirit of loyalty and good inter-institutional cooperation", said Pierre Gramegna, minister for Finance of Luxembourg and President of the Council.

    • Other meeting · News articles
    • Justice and Home Affairs, Foreign Affairs
    Jean Asselborn calls for a European Asylum System and a specialised European jurisdiction to hear asylum cases

    In his speech to the European Union (EU) Ambassadors' Conference held on 3 September 2015 in Brussels, Luxembourg's Minister for Foreign and European Affairs, Jean Asselborn, called for a European Asylum System. Although the current system has a "European focus", "national management risks leading to striking differences between the length of proceedings and the international protection recognition rate", he explained. In his capacity as Minister of Immigration and Asylum, Jean Asselborn invited the Member States to "reconsider the logic of the system" at the extraordinary Justice and Home Affairs (JHA) Council on 14 September 2015. The EU needs a specialised European jurisdiction to hear cases on international protection, applying common rules concerning the length of proceedings and granting approvals, considered Jean Asselborn.

    • Other meeting · News articles
    • Education, Youth, Culture, Sport, Development

    On 3 and 4 September 2015, the Luxembourg Presidency of the Council of the EU organized a conference in Echternach, entitled "Culture and development: towards a more strategic approach to cultural policies in the EU's external relations". The aim of the conference, which brought together around forty European and international speakers, was to give an insight into the way in which culture and development interact, and also to raise questions about the coherence of cultural policies and cooperation in development.

    • Informal Ministerial Meeting · Press releases
    • Foreign Affairs
    Informal Meeting of EU Ministers of Defence in Luxembourg

    The informal meeting of Defence Ministers of the European Union will be held in Luxembourg at the European Convention Centre Luxembourg (ECCL) on 2 and 3 September 2015. Chaired by the Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Defence, Étienne Schneider, the first session of the Meeting of EU Defence Ministers will focus on the follow-up of the European Council in June 2015. In the second session, chaired by the Commission Vice-President, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini, Ministers will be briefed on the current CSDP operations (common security and defence policy).

    • Informal Ministerial Meeting · News articles
    • Foreign Affairs
    Informal Meeting of the EU Ministers of Defence in Luxembourg – Federica Mogherini called for the launch of the second phase of the EUNAVFOR MED operation in order to apprehend smugglers in international waters

    Co-chaired by Luxembourg's Minister of Defence, Etienne Schneider, and the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini, an informal meeting of the Ministers of Defense of the European Union (EU) was held in Luxembourg on 2 and 3 September 2015. The first session focused on the results and implementation of the conclusions of the European Council in June 2015. The second session addressed current CSDP operations (Common Security and Defence Policy) and, in particular, the EUNAVFOR MED naval operation, in respect of which the High Representative called for the launch of the second phase of the operation which provides for the seizure of vessels used by smugglers and to apprehend them in international waters. The High Representative noted "a broad consensus" among Ministers of Defence and expressed hope that it would lead to a decision being taken "in the forthcoming weeks, not months".

  • Updated 15-07-2015