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    • Other meeting · News articles
    • Justice and Home Affairs, Foreign Affairs
    54th meeting of COSAC – National representatives stressed the importance of solidarity between EU Member States to overcome the challenges linked to the refugees crisis

    Representatives of EU Member States' national parliaments met in Luxembourg for the 54th Conference of Parliamentary Committees for Union Affairs of Parliaments of the European Union (COSAC), which took place on 30 November and 1 December 2015. The debates focused on the European agenda on migration, the strategy for a digital market in Europe, and lastly, EU enlargement policy. For the first session devoted to the European agenda on migration, the debates specifically concentrated on common asylum policy and legal migration policy, as well as the fight against illegal migration and external borders security. During the debates, an overwhelming majority of speakers stressed the importance of solidarity between EU Member States to respond to challenges linked to the refugees crisis.

    • Other meeting · Press releases
    • Other
    Étienne Schneider invited European Ministers for Space Policy to discuss relations between the EU and the European Space Agency

    On 30 November 2015, Étienne Schneider, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for the Economy, invited Member States of the EU and the European Space Agency (ESA) to discuss cooperation between the two organisations. In its dual role as President of the Council of the European Union and Co-President, together with its Swiss counterpart, of the European Space Agency's Ministerial Council, Luxembourg is in a prime position to promote closer cooperation between the EU and the ESA. Étienne Schneider, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for the Economy, took the opportunity offered by this dual role to restart dialogue at European level and create fresh impetus with a view to increased cooperation between the EU and the European Space Agency.

    • Other meeting · News articles
    • Transport, Telecommmunications and Energy
    54th meeting of COSAC – The national representatives discussed the strategy for a digital single market in Europe

    The representatives of national parliaments of EU Member States who met in Luxembourg on 30 November and 1 December 2015 for the 54th meeting of COSAC chose to close their first working day with a discussion on the strategy for a digital single market in Europe. On this occasion, the European Commissioner for the Digital Single Market and Commission Vice-President, Andrus Ansip, presented this initiative launched by the European Commission on 6 May 2015. The objective of the initiative is to break down regulatory barriers in the digital age and to transform the 28 national markets into a single online market. Following the speeches given by national MPs, the Commissioner welcomed a 'large consensus' with regard to the establishment of the digital single market in Europe.

    • Other meeting · Press releases
    • Economic and Financial Affairs
    Luxembourg Presidency reaches agreement with the European Parliament on the Benchmarks Regulation

    On 25 November 2015, after intensive negotiations between the Council, the European Parliament and the European Commission, a deal has been struck on the proposal for a Benchmarks Regulation, subject to agreement by Member States. “The adoption of the Benchmarks Regulation will help restore confidence in the integrity of benchmarks and enhance their robustness and reliability, hence strenghtening confidence in the financial markets and preventing new manipulation scandals”, said Pierre Gramegna, Minister of Finance of Luxembourg and President of the Ecofin Council.

    • Other meeting · News articles
    • Competitiveness, Economic and Financial Affairs

    On 24 November 2015, during the second day of the "Manufuture 2015" conference, entitled "Strategic Investments in European Manufacturing to Rise to Global Challenges", which was held in Luxembourg in the framework of the Luxembourg Presidency of the Council of the European Union (EU), European industry stakeholders and experts continued discussions on innovation in the manufacturing sector. In his opening address, Marc Hansen, Secretary of State for Higher Education and Research, declared that innovation through research helps to boost reindustrialisation.

    • Other meeting · Press releases
    • Economic and Financial Affairs
    EU 2016 budget approved by the Council

    On 24 November 2015, the Council by unanimity approved the 2016 EU budget deal agreed by the Conciliation Committee on 14 November. If the agreement is also confirmed by the European Parliament on 25 November the EU budget for 2016 is adopted. The 2016 EU budget provides for €155.00 billion in total commitments. This leaves a margin of €2.3 billion under the expenditure ceiling of the multiannual financial framework for 2014-2020, allowing the EU to react to unforeseen needs. The level of total payments is set at €143.89 billion. This is a 1.8% increase compared to the 2015 EU budget, taking into account the eight amending budgets.

    • Other meeting · News articles
    • Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs
    Nicolas Schmit has pointed to the importance of human capital on the occasion of the presentation by Eurofound of the first results of its 6th survey on working conditions in the EU

    Under the auspices of the Luxembourg Presidency of the Council of the European Union, the Ministry of Labour, Employment and the Social and Solidarity Economy organised, in partnership with the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions (Eurofound), a conference on working conditions which took place at the Cercle Cité in Luxembourg on 24 November 2015. Eurofound presented the first results from the sixth survey on working conditions in the European Union. During the opening speech, Nicolas Schmit, Minister for Labour and Employment, mentioned that the EPSCO Council had on 5 October adopted Conclusions on a new programme for health and safety at work aimed at encouraging better working conditions.

    • Other meeting · News articles
    • Competitiveness, Economic and Financial Affairs
    'Manufacture 2015' Conference- The importance of investing in innovation in the manufacturing sector at the centre of discussions

    In the context of the Luxembourg Presidency of the Council of the European Union (EU), the 'Manufacture 2015' Conference was held in Luxembourg on 23 and 24 November 2015. The main aim of this conference, which brought together actors and experts from European industry, was to identify and validate new political, financial and scientific instruments which could help strengthen and improve research and innovation in Europe. In their opening speech, the speakers stressed the importance of investing in the manufacturing sector. Francine Closener, Secretary of State for the Economy, pointed to innovation as the key to competitiveness in the European manufacturing industry.

    • Other meeting · News articles
    • Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs
    European Meeting of People experiencing Poverty –

    National delegations from 30 European countries – comprising people experiencing poverty and social workers – met in Brussels on 19 and 20 November 2015 in order to participate in the two days of the 13th edition of the European Meeting of People experiencing Poverty, organised by the European Anti-Poverty Network (EAPN) with the support of the European Commission and the Luxembourg Presidency of the Council of the European Union (EU). For the occasion, the Presidency's website met several members of the Luxembourg delegation, who, on their return from Brussels, gave an account of their experience of these two days of work.

    • Other meeting · Press releases
    • Education, Youth, Culture, Sport
    Joint declaration of the Ministers for Culture of the European Union, of the Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport, and of the President of the Committee on Culture and Education of the European Parliament

    "The tragic events of 13 November 2015 in Paris once again plunge the European Union into mourning. They are a wake-up call. As the Ministers for Culture of the European Union and senior Representatives of the EU institutions, we wish to express our solidarity with the victims and their loved ones, and with the French people as a whole. We also wish to reiterate our condemnation of this senseless barbarity which seeks to undermine our essential values in the most violent way. Faced with such violence and attempts to disrupt our ways of life, our beliefs and our freedoms, culture - even more so than in the past - has a crucial contribution to make towards opening minds and promoting tolerance, intercultural dialogue, social integration and mutual respect. One of the foremost responses which Europe should provide to intolerance, xenophobia, obscurantism, fanaticism of all kinds and radicalisation lies in culture."

    • Other meeting · News articles
    • Education, Youth, Culture, Sport
    Conference on Dual Careers of Athletes – Romain Schneider spoke in favour of the best possible provision for balancing sport with study and the best possibilities for training and transition for a post-sports career

    Within the framework of Luxembourg's Presidency of the Council of the European Union (EU), the Ministry of Sport, working together with the European Commission and Sportlycée Luxembourg, organised an international conference on promoting the dual career of athletes. It was held on 20 November 2015 in Munsbach. The meeting, which brought together experts, sportspeople and politicians, set out to report on work done at European level on the subject, and to enable exchanges of experience and ideas between those involved, with a view to identifying plans for progress "on all aspects of a subject which is one of our Presidency's priorities", as emphasised by Romain Schneider, Minister for Sports, who gave the opening address at the conference.

    • Other meeting · News articles
    • Competitiveness
    2015 SME Assembly – An ambitious policy for SMEs is 'a priority for the Luxembourg Presidency'

    In the context of the Luxembourg Presidency of the Council of the European Union (EU), the European 2015 SME Assembly was organised by the European Commission in Luxembourg, from 18 to 20 November 2015, as the culmination of the European SME (small and medium-sized enterprises) Week. The conference, which sets out to be a major event for SMEs in Europe, seeks to offer these enterprises a platform for exchange and debate, and thus to enable them to participate in shaping policies specific to their needs. The Secretary of State for the Economy, Francine Closener, and the Commissioner for the Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs, Elżbieta Bieńkowska, opened the debates on 19 November, in the presence of the Grand Duchess of Luxembourg, Maria Teresa.

    • Other meeting · News articles
    • Competitiveness
    2015 SME Assembly - The obstacles experienced by small businesses at the heart of discussions

    Dans le contexte de la Présidence luxembourgeoise du Conseil de l’Union européenne (UE), l'Assemblée européenne des PME 2015 a été organisée par la Commission européenne à Luxembourg, du 18 au 20 novembre 2015, en point d’orgue de la semaine européenne des petites et moyennes entreprises (PME). Le dernier jour de la conférence, plusieurs sessions ont été consacrées aux problèmes qu’affrontent les PME, comme les barrières au sein du marché intérieur ou le déficit en matière de compétences numériques. Costas Andropoulos, Chef d’unité de la Direction générale du marché intérieur, de l’industrie, de l’entrepreneuriat et des PME (DG Grow) de la Commission européenne, a conclu la conférence en indiquant que la Commission va retenir de ces sessions la nécessité de continuer à ‘penser aux petits d’abord’, de combler les lacunes restantes dans le marché unique, et de revoir les règles de TVA.

    • Other meeting · News articles
    • Competitiveness, Transport, Telecommmunications and Energy
    European Data Forum 2015 – Marc Hansen believes that 'Europe has a unique opportunity to invest in the development and deployment of HPC technology and Big Data to ensure the competitiveness of its research and industries'

    Under the Luxembourg Presidency of the Council of the European Union, the 2015 edition of the 'European Data Forum' is being held in Luxembourg on 16 and 17 November 2015. This annual meeting of industry, research, public authorities and community initiatives, devoted to the challenges relating to Big Data and the data economy aims to respond to the question of 'how to use data integration in a European Digital Single Market?'. Marc Hansen, Secretary of State for Higher Education and Research, opened the second day of the conference with the European Commissioner for Digital Economy, Günther Oettinger.

    • Other meeting · News articles
    • Economic and Financial Affairs, Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs, Foreign Affairs
    High-level TTIP conference – Xavier Bettel calls for a comprehensive and qualitative agreement

    The Luxembourg Presidency of the Council of the EU, together with the European Parliament, the European Commission and the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC), held a conference in Brussels on 17 November 2015 entitled "TTIP - What's in it for the social partners?". The purpose of the conference, which brought together social partners from the 28 Member States for the first time, was to address different aspects of the negotiations on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) currently being discussed by the EU and the USA, and in respect of which a number of concerns have been put forward.

    • Other meeting · News articles
    • Competitiveness, Transport, Telecommmunications and Energy
    European Data Forum 2015 – For Xavier Bettel, the digital single market is 'an area where we can demonstrate that Europe is able to deliver'

    Under the Luxembourg Presidency of the Council of the European Union, the 2015 edition of the "European Data Forum" is being held in Luxembourg on 16 and 17 November 2015. This annual meeting of industry, research, public authorities and community initiatives, devoted to the challenges relating to Big Data and the data economy, aims to respond to the question of 'how to use data integration in a European Digital Single Market?'. "To fully reap the potential of the rise of Big Data we have to ensure that data, its relays and its intermediaries, can all be trusted", explained Xavier Bettel in his opening address on 16 November 2015. For his part, Andrus Ansip, Vice-President of the European Commission responsible for the Digital Single Market, indicated that the ambition of the Commission is to make the data economy work in the EU.

    • Other meeting · Press releases
    • Education, Youth, Culture, Sport
    The Directors General of Vocational Training held a meeting in Luxembourg

    A meeting of the Directors General of Vocational Training was held in Luxembourg on 16 and 17 November 2015 in the context of the Luxembourg Presidency of the Council of the European Union. The Minister for National Education, Childhood and Youth, Claude Meisch, first of all referred to the complex and difficult international context relating to the refugee situation. Claude Meisch believes that it is necessary to prevent a considerable humanitarian disaster through the cooperation of all EU countries. The work of the European Training Foundation (ETF) has shown that in the countries bordering on the European Union, vocational training and education generally contribute actively and sustainably towards integration and social peace within our societies.

    • Other meeting · News articles
    • Environment
    Conference on the directive concerning the assessment of the effects of certain public and private projects on the environment - 30 years after the adoption of the directive, the participants take stock and discuss future challenges

    On 12 and 13 November 2015, the Luxembourg Presidency, in cooperation with the European Commission and the European Investment Bank (EIB), organised a conference in Luxembourg on the directive concerning the assessment of the effects of certain public and private projects on the environment which, this year, celebrates its 30th anniversary. The event's participants, public authority and private sector representatives from the 28 Member States, were invited to review the functioning of the directive, exchange good practices and reflect on future challenges. Since it was adopted in 1985, said directive has been amended three times and revised in 2014. Luxembourg's Minister for the Environment, Carole Dieschbourg, spoke of the directive as a "major success in the history of the European Union's environmental policy".

    • Other meeting · News articles
    • Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs
    Speaking outside the meeting of the EU Senior Labour Inspectors Committee, Nicolas Schmit noted the need to review the recruitment and training of labour inspectors in the EU.

    The Minister for Labour and Employment, Nicolas Schmit, gave a press conference on the occasion of the meeting of the EU Senior Labour Inspectors Committee (SLIC) organised on 12 November 2015 in Luxembourg at the initiative of the Luxembourg Presidency. He noted the need to review the recruitment and training of labour inspectors in the EU, and to give them the tools and competences to carry out their mission in a world of work that is undergoing a profound transformation, particularly with the impact of the digital economy.

  • Updated 15-07-2015