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On 22 September 2015, members of the special TAXE committee met the Luxembourg Finance Minister Pierre Gramegna in Brussels, in his capacity as Luxembourg Presidency representative of the Ecofin Council. They discussed the fight against fraud and tax evasion and the work of the Council during the Luxembourg Presidency.
On 16 September 2015, the Council's Permanent Representatives Committee backed a Commission proposal to help Greece maximise its use of EU funds and improve liquidity for boosting growth and creating jobs. The proposal's main objective is to address the lack of public funds available for much needed investments in Greece, and to ensure that the concerned European structural and investment funds deliver their benefits as rapidly as possible on the ground. The position agreed by the Council serves as a mandate for the Luxembourg presidency to hold discussions with representatives of the European Parliament.
The European Ministers of economic and financial Affairs met in Luxembourg on 12 September 2015 for the second day of their informal ministerial meeting. This new session was dedicated to deepening the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) as well as the issue of the "bridge financing" for the Single Resolution Fund (SRF)".
European Ministers of Economy and Financial Affairs met in Luxembourg on 11 September 2015 during the first day of the Informal Meeting of Ministers of Economy and Financial Affairs convened by the Luxembourg Presidency of the Council of the European Union (EU). On this occasion, the Ministers discussed the financing of the fight against climate change, just over two months before the Paris Climate Conference (COP21 ), the principle of minimum effective taxation and the financial impact of the refugee crisis currently facing the EU.
The refugee crisis in Europe has been at the heart of declarations from EU Finance Ministers on their arrival at the Informal Meeting of the Ministers for the Economy and Finance held on September 11 and 12 in Luxembourg. Although the subject was not on the agenda for the meeting, the financing of measures to be taken to cope with the influx of refugees into Europe was the subject of discussions during a working lunch with the heads of the European Investment Bank (EIB).
On 11 September 2015, the Prime Minister, Xavier Bettel, held a meeting with the European Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs, Taxation and Customs, Pierre Moscovici, in the margins of the Informal Meeting of Ministers of Economic and Financial Affairs (ECOFIN) in Luxembourg under the Luxembourg Presidency of the Council of the EU. This exchange of views provided an opportunity to take stock of the measures taken by the Luxembourg Presidency and the European Commission, in particular with regard to taxation, and to discuss the EU refugee crisis.
Minister for Finance and President of ECOFIN, Pierre Gramegna, attended the European Parliament plenary session meeting on 8 September 2015 in Strasbourg, to present the position of the Council on the draft EU Budget for 2016. The position, adopted by the Committee of Permanent Representatives of the Members States to the EU on the basis of a compromise agreement brokered by the Luxembourg Presidency on 9 July 2015 was unanimously approved by the Council on 4 September. Pierre Gramegna noted that although the EU Budget 2016 is intended to "reflect European solidarity, both within the Union, and beyond its borders", its main objective is to "support economic recovery, investment and boost employment, while stimulating the financing of migration policy and EU external action". The Council's position provides for EUR 153.27 billion in funding commitments and EUR 142.12 billion in payment allocations.
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.
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.
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.