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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
    • 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
    • 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
    • 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.

    • 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.

    • 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.

  • Updated 15-07-2015