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    • 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
    • Transport, Telecommmunications and Energy
    Luxembourg Sustainability Forum 2015 - Jeremy Rifkin calls for the Third Industrial Revolution

    The Luxembourg Sustainability Forum 2015, organised in the context of the Luxembourg Presidency of the Council of the EU, was held in the Grand Duchy on 24 September 2015. A number of experts discussed the concept of responsible finance, as well as the means to revamp territories and digital technology for sustainable development. The highlight of the conference was the presentation by American economist and futurist, Jeremy Rifkin, who spoke on his theory of a Third Industrial Revolution.

    • Informal Ministerial Meeting · Press releases
    • Transport, Telecommmunications and Energy
    Informal meeting of Ministers for Energy – A meeting devoted to new energy technologies as a driving force for economic growth and job creation

    Entitled "New energy technologies as business and investment opportunities for Europe", the Informal meeting of Ministers for Energy to be held on Wednesday 23 September 2015 at the European Convention Centre Luxembourg will be devoted, in particular, to new energy technologies as a driving force for economic growth and job creation.

    • Informal Ministerial Meeting · News articles
    • Transport, Telecommmunications and Energy
    Informal meeting of Ministers for Energy - Ministers examine the great potential provided by new technologies for energy transition

    European energy transition and the potential of new energy technologies were the main items on the agenda at the informal meeting of Energy ministers held in Luxembourg on 23 September 2015. The discussions at the informal meeting focused on three issues: economic growth offered by European energy transition, possible synergies between energy and development aid and investment in the energy sector. At a press conference held at the end of this informal Meeting, the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Economy, Étienne Schneider, who chaired the meeting, confirmed that there is "a lot to gain" from growth and job creation" in the energy field.

    • Other meeting · News articles
    • Transport, Telecommmunications and Energy
    Etienne Schneider concluded the SET Plan 2015 conference by insisting on the

    On 22 September 2015, the second day of the 8th SET Plan conference held in Luxembourg, which sought to strengthen work on the Strategic Energy Technology Plan (SET Plan), concluded with two speeches: one by the Luxembourg Minister of the Economy, Etienne Schneider, and one by the European Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy, Miguel Arias Cañete. Etienne Schneider stressed that the EU has "a lot to gain" from research and innovation in the energy field, before insisting on "the urgency to progress faster" in this field. Miguel Arias Cañete highlighted the importance of strengthening cross-border and cross-sector integration in research and innovation in the energy field.

    • 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 · News articles
    • Transport, Telecommmunications and Energy
    Xavier Bettel stresses the importance of accelerating the energy transition at the opening of the SET-Plan Conference 2015

    At the opening of the SET-Plan conference on the transformation of the energy system, held on 21 September 2015 in Luxembourg, Prime Minister Xavier Bettel stressed the importance of accelerating the energy transition, noting that the EU imports half of the energy it consumes. The European Commissioner Carlos Moedas for his part, called for increased investment and innovation.

    • Other meeting · Press releases
    • Transport, Telecommmunications and Energy
    Debate on road safety for cyclists and pedestrians, organised by the Ministry for Sustainable Development and Infrastructure and the European Transport Safety Council

    On 21 September 2015, the European Transport Safety Council (ETSC) and the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg's Ministry for Sustainable Development and Infrastructure held a debate on road safety as part of the Luxembourg Presidency of the Council of the European Union.

    • Other meeting · News articles
    • Other
    European Tourism Forum - Francine Closener highlights the challenges the tourism sector is facing at European level

    On 17 and 18 September 2015, the 14th European Tourism Forum was held in Luxembourg, an event organised by the European Commission in the context of the Luxembourg Presidency of the Council of the European Union. For the 2015 edition of the European Tourism Forum, the speakers chose to focus on the important issues the tourism sector is facing today: digitalisation, promoting Europe through transnational and pan-European thematic products, skills and training and also streamlining the regulatory and administrative framework. Francine Closener, Secretary of State for Economy, delivered the welcoming remarks of the forum "intended to shape the future of European tourism".

    • Other meeting · Press releases
    • Transport, Telecommmunications and Energy
    Digital services interoperability programme ISA² - The Luxembourg Presidency of the Council finalised an agreement with the European Parliament

    On 16 September 2015, the Luxembourg Presidency of the Council and the European Parliament finalised an informal deal on a programme to help member states' public administrations provide interoperable digital services for citizens and businesses (ISA²). The new ISA² programme is set to run from 2016 to 2020, with a budget of about €131 million. The quick agreement should ensure that ISA² will be ready to kick in by the time the current ISA programme expires at the end of 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.

    • Ministers in the European Parliament · News articles
    • Justice and Home Affairs, Other
    State of the Union - Nicolas Schmit welcomes

    Nicolas Schmit, the Minister in charge of relations with the European Parliament during the Luxembourg Presidency of the Council of the EU, has welcomed the "important" contributions and initiatives put forward by the President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, during his speech on the state of the Union before the European Parliament which met in plenary session on 9 September 2015. "It is time for courageous, innovative and exceptional action to be taken", declared Nicolas Schmit, speaking at the end of the debate which followed Jean-Claude Juncker's speech. In his address, Jean-Claude Juncker called, in particular, on the 28 EU Member States to reach an agreement on the Commission's proposal on the urgent relocation of 160,000 refugees during the extraordinary Justice and Home Affairs (JHA) Council (JHA) convened by the Luxembourg Presidency of the Council of the EU for 14 September 2015.

    • 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.

  • Updated 15-07-2015