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    • Council Meeting · Press releases
    • Foreign Affairs
    EU-Canada trade negotiating mandate made public

    The Council decided on 15 December 2015 to declassify the directives given to the Commission to negotiate a comprehensive economic and trade agreement with Canada. The 2009 negotiating directives, as well as a 2011 modification to allow for talks on investment protection, were made public the same day. The decision was taken without discussion at an extraordinary meeting of the Council, in the margins of a WTO ministerial conference in Nairobi. It was taken by common accord.

    • Council Meeting · Council conclusions
    • Foreign Affairs

    First Council conclusions on the 10th World Trade Organization Ministerial Conference Second Council conclusions on the 10th World Trade Organization Ministerial Conference

    • Council Meeting · Press releases
    • Foreign Affairs
    The Luxembourg Presidency at the Foreign Affairs Council – Trade and the 10th Ministerial Conference of the WTO in Nairobi from 16 to 19 December 2015

    Luxembourg's Minister for Foreign and European Affairs, Jean Asselborn, and the Minister for Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Affairs, Romain Schneider, were in Nairobi, Kenya, from 16 to 19 December to chair the European Union's Foreign Affairs (Trade) Council and to attend the 10th Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organization (WTO).

    • Other meeting · News articles
    • Foreign Affairs, Justice and Home Affairs
    EU - Western Balkans JHA Ministerial Forum – Jean Asselborn welcomes the cooperation on the refugee crisis, but calls for efforts to limit asylum requests in the EU from people coming from the Balkan countries

    The Ministers for Justice and Home Affairs of the Member States of the European Union (EU) and of Western Balkan countries met in Sarajevo on 7 and 8 December 2015 to participate in the annual EU - Western Balkan Ministerial Forum on 'Justice and Home Affairs' (JHA), which this year was dedicated to issues of migration, asylum, security, the fight against terrorism and judicial cooperation.

    • Ministers in the European Parliament · Press releases
    • Education, Youth, Culture, Sport

    On 3 December 2015, the Minister for National Education, Children and Youth, Claude Meisch, participated in an interparliamentary meeting on education and youth at the European Parliament. In his capacity as current President of the Council of the European Union, he took part in the introductory panel meeting of the day, alongside Silvia Costa, President of the Culture Committee of the European Parliament, Tibor Navracsics, European Commissioner, and Alan Pall, Secretary General of the European Youth Forum.

    • Other meeting · Press releases
    • Education, Youth, Culture, Sport
    Education Committee - European cooperation on inclusive education

    The last meeting of the Luxembourg Presidency in the field of education was held in Luxembourg on 3 and 4 December 2015. This was also the seventh session of the Education Committee which is made up of government representatives from the 28 Member States who prepare for meetings of the Education Council and ensure the implementation of its decisions. The meeting in Luxembourg provided an opportunity to take stock of the achievements of the current trio of Presidencies for 2014-2015 and to highlight the issues to be addressed in the months to come, including the promotion of inclusive education and democratic culture.

    • Ministers in the European Parliament · News articles
    • Foreign Affairs
    Addressing the European Parliament, Nicolas Schmit says the EU-Turkey summit has achieved concrete results

    On 2 December 2015, Nicolas Schmit, the Minister responsible for relations with the European Parliament during the Luxembourg Presidency of the EU Council, addressed the plenary session of Parliament in Brussels on the results of the EU-Turkey summit held on 29 November 2015. 'This meeting was very timely, because it enabled issues of vital importance for the Union's security' to be dealt with, said Nicolas Schmit, by way of introduction. He believed the meeting had achieved 'concrete results'. Frans Timmermans, Vice-President of the European Commission, stated that we should not be 'ashamed' of the agreement with Turkey, because it is based on a 'shared interest'.

    • Third Country Meeting · Press releases
    • Foreign Affairs, Justice and Home Affairs
    EU signs visa waiver agreement with Colombia

    On 2 December 2015 the EU signed a short-stay visa waiver agreement with Colombia, at a ceremony that took place in Brussels. On behalf of the EU, the agreement was signed by Jean Asselborn, Minister of Immigration and Asylum of Luxembourg and President of the Council, and by Dimitris Avramopoulos, Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship. On the Colombian side, Maria Angela Holguín, Minister of Foreign Affairs, signed the agreement. The new visa regime provides for visa-free travel for EU citizens when travelling to the territory of Colombia and for citizens of Colombia when travelling to the EU, for a period of stay of 90 days in any 180-day period.

    • Other meeting · News articles
    • Foreign Affairs
    54th meeting of COSAC – enlargement policy is the focus for debates by national representatives

    The theme for the second day of work for the representatives of national parliaments of EU Member States, meeting in Luxembourg on 30 November and 1 December 2015 for the 54th meeting of COSAC (Conference of Parliamentary Committees for Union Affairs of Parliaments of the European Union), was the EU's enlargement policy.

    • Ministers in the European Parliament · News articles
    • Foreign Affairs
    Jean Asselborn has taken stock of the Luxembourg Presidency regarding trade policy before the European Parliament's International Trade Committee

    Jean Asselborn, the Luxembourg Minister for Foreign and European Affairs, visited Brussels on 1 December 2015 to take stock before the European Parliament's International Trade Committee (INTA) of the Luxembourg Presidency's trade policy. In his introduction, the Minister reminded those present of the importance attached by the Presidency to a coherent, responsible and inclusive trade policy. The transparency of the negotiations and the coherence of different policies have also guided the work of the Presidency regarding trade policy, the Minister said.

    • Third Country Meeting · Press releases
    • Foreign Affairs, Justice and Home Affairs
    Eastern Mediterranean – Western Balkans route conference, on 8 October 2015 in Luxembourg

    On 8 October 2015 in Luxembourg will take place the High level Conference on the Eastern Mediterranean – Western Balkans Route. Jean Asselborn, minister for Foreign and European Affairs, minister for Immigration and Asylum, and Federica Mogherini, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Vice-President of the Commission, convened this meeting, in order to discuss with all relevant partners the importance of this route in the increased migratory flows coming from the Middle East.

    • PSC · Press releases
    • Foreign Affairs
    EUNAVFOR Med - EU agrees to start the active phase of the operation against human smugglers and to rename it

    EU Ambassadors within the Political and Security Committee agreed to start the first step of the second phase of the operation as of 7 October 2015 and approved the corresponding rules of engagement. The EU naval operation against human smugglers in the Mediterranean will be able to board, search, seize and divert vessels suspected of being used for human smuggling or trafficking on the high seas, in line with international law. The Political and Security Committee also agreed that EU NAVFOR Med should be renamed "Sophia" after the name given to the baby born on the ship of the operation which rescued her mother on 22 August 2015 off the coast of Libya.

    • Other meeting · News articles
    • Education, Youth, Culture, Sport
    European Youth Conference – Youth representatives together with representatives from the Member States adopt Final Joint Recommendations on Empowerment of young people for political participation

    Following an 18-month work cycle and two European Youth Conferences held in Rome (October 2014) and in Riga (March 2015), youth representatives, together with representatives from European Union (EU) Member States meeting in Luxembourg from 22 to 24 September 2015 for the fourth cycle of Structured Dialogue, adopted 15 Joint Recommendations on “Youth Empowerment for political participation in the democratic life in Europe”. Luxembourg Minister of Education, Children and Youth, Claude Meisch, gave the closing speech of this conference organised by the Luxembourg Presidency and called on young people to "stand up and express their views".

    • Other meeting · News articles
    • Education, Youth, Culture, Sport
    Xavier Bettel encourages young people to participate more in democratic life, at the opening of the European Youth Conference

    At the opening of the European Youth Conference held in Luxembourg from 22 to 24 September 2015, the Prime Minister, Xavier Bettel, encouraged young Europeans to "participate more, be interested in their own future and in the development of society". The European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport, Tibor Navracsics, appealed for young people from all backgrounds to participate in democratic life.The conference held under the Luxembourg Presidency will close the current cycle of the structured dialogue which focuses on the political participation of young people and seeks to finalise the conclusions adopted at the previous conference held in Riga in March 2015. These recommendations will be submitted to Ministers for Youth at the Education, Youth, Culture and Sports Council in November 2015.

    • Other meeting · Press releases
    • Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs, Foreign Affairs
    Lydia Mutsch has presented an EU declaration during the International Atomic Energy Agency's (IAEA) 59th General Conference in Vienna

    During the IAEA's 59th General Conference, which is taking place at the organisation's headquarters in Vienna between 14 and 18 September, 2015, the 164 Member States will discuss the big issues linked to the use of nuclear energy and principally those related to non-proliferation. Within the context of the Luxembourg Presidency of the Council of the European Union, the Minister of Health, Lydia Mutsch, presented an EU declaration.

    • Ministers in the European Parliament · News articles
    • Education, Youth, Culture, Sport
    Romain Schneider presented the priorities of the Luxembourg Presidency to the European Parliament's CULT Committee

    The Minister for Sports, Romain Schneider, intervened on 14 September 2015 before the European Parliament's Committee on Culture and Education (CULT) in Brussels to present the priorities of the Luxembourg Presidency in the field of sports. These include the promotion of physical and motor activities for young and very young children, the fight against manipulation of sports competitions, as well as the representation and coordination of the European Union within the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).

    • Other meeting · News articles
    • Education, Youth, Culture, Sport
    Conference on Early Childhood Education organised by the Luxembourg Presidency - Day 2 devoted to multilingualism, the role of parents and teachers' working conditions

    The Luxembourg Presidency organised a conference on Diversity and Multilingualism in Education and Early Childhood Care held on 10 and 11 September, 2015. Throughout the second day, there was a presentation of the results of several workshops, followed by a discussion with a panel of experts. Several topics were covered, such as the need to value and foster the mother tongue of children from migrant backgrounds, improving the working conditions of teachers, and even including parents more in their children's education.

    • Other meeting · News articles
    • Education, Youth, Culture, Sport
    The importance of quality education and equality of opportunities is at the heart of a conference on early childhood organised by the Luxembourg Presidency

    The Luxembourg Presidency organised a conference on Diversity and Multilingualism in Early Childhood Education and Care held on 10 and 11 September 2015. During the opening speeches, the Minister of Education, Children and Youth, Claude Meisch, called for inequalities to be addressed and stressed the importance of including all children in quality education. The European Commissioner for Education, Tibor Navracsics, criticized the fact that the majority of Member States have reduced their education budgets. The Minister for Family Affairs and Integration, Corinne Cahen, stressed the importance of promoting diversity in schools.

    • 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.

  • Updated 15-07-2015