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    • Other meeting · Press releases
    • General Affairs
    Luxembourg presents the achievements of its Presidency of the Council of the European Union

    With the 12th Luxembourg Presidency of the Council of the EU finished on 31 December 2015, a report of the main results achieved over the past six months was published on 19 January 2016. The Luxembourg Presidency worked, in keeping with its traditions and convictions, to put European citizens at the heart of its initiatives, while ensuring that the real, direct interests of citizens are better taken account of in all EU policies.

    • Other meeting · Press releases
    • Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs
    Mission accomplished by the Luxembourg Presidency in the area of public health

    The Minister of Health, Lydia Mutsch, provided a positive general assessment of the Luxembourg Presidency of the Council of the EU and of the work carried out over the past six months in the area of public health. Real progress was made on several major issues relating to the health of our citizens, such as in areas of the reduction of alcohol-related harm due to excessive consumption of alcohol; access to personalised medical care; dementia; the fight against drugs; quality of medical devices; protection against ionising radiation; as well as food safety. In all these areas, the Presidency continuously sought to tackle these problems in line with its motto, meaning placing the full focus of the measures on the patient and on innovation. The majority of the efforts were endorsed by the Council and the Ministers for Health of the Member States on 7 December 2015.

    • Other meeting · News articles
    • General Affairs
    EU-Switzerland Meeting – Jean Asselborn seeks to 'find common ground between the outcome of the popular vote and the European principles of free movement and non-discrimination'

    Luxembourg's Minister for Foreign and European Affairs and Minister for Immigration and Asylum, Jean Asselborn, representing the Luxembourg Presidency of the Council of the European Union (EU) attended the informal meeting, together with the President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, and the President of the Swiss Confederation, Simonetta Sommaruga, in Brussels on 21 December 2015. The meeting was held in the context of consultations undertaken by President Jean-Claude Juncker and President Simonetta Sommaruga following a popular vote on 9 February 2014. During the press conference which followed the meeting, the two parties stated that they had failed to reach an agreement on amendments to be made to the rules on the free movement of persons as desired by Bern, although 'some progress' had been made. A new EU-Switzerland meeting has been scheduled for the end of February.

    • Other meeting · Press releases
    • General Affairs
    Jean Asselborn chaired the intergovernmental conference between the European Union and Montenegro

    The Luxembourg Minister for Foreign and European Affairs, Jean Asselborn, chaired the seventh intergovernmental conference held between the European Union and Montenegro in Brussels on 21 December 2015. The seventh intergovernmental conference held between the European Union and Montenegro has opened two Chapters in the accession negotiations, specifically Chapiter 14, "Transport policy" and 15 "Energy". Jean Asselborn outlined that "with the two chapters opened today, we have a total of 22 out of 35 negotiations chapters open. This makes Montenegro the country that is currently the most advanced in its negotiations with the European Union, and sets a positive example for the entire region".

    • Other meeting · Press releases
    • Justice and Home Affairs
    EU data protection reform: Council confirms agreement with the European Parliament

    On 18 December 2015, the Permanent Representatives Committee (Coreper) confirmed the compromise texts agreed with the European Parliament on data protection reform. The agreement was reached between the Council, Parliament and Commission on the 15 December. This agreement is in line with the request from the European Council for negotiations on data protection reform to be concluded by the end of 2015. Félix Braz, Luxembourg Minister of Justice and President of the Council said: "It is a fundamental agreement with important consequences. This reform not only strengthens the rights of citizens, but also adapts the rules to the digital age for companies, whilst reducing the administrative burden. These are ambitious and forward-looking texts. We can have full confidence in the result."

    • Other meeting · Press releases
    • Agriculture and Fisheries

    On 18 December 2015, under the Luxembourg Presidency and subject to the European Parliament and Council formal vote, the Coreper (Permanent Representatives Committee) approved a final package on plant health. The Council and European Parliament representatives finalised the overall compromise during a trilogue meeting held on 16 December.

    • Other meeting · News articles
    • General Affairs
    Xavier Bettel presented a preliminary review of the Luxembourg Presidency of the Council of the EU at the closing of the European Council

    At the press conference following the European Council of 17 and 18 December 2015, Luxembourg's Prime Minister, Xavier Bettel, together with the President of the European Council, Donald Tusk, and the President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, presented a "preliminary review" of the Luxembourg Presidency of the Council of the EU. The Luxembourg Presidency has been marked by "a tragic and unprecedented worsening" of the refugee crisis and the tragic terrorist attacks in Paris on 13 November 2015, stated Xavier Bettel who believes that Luxembourg has acted as a mediator to find common solutions. He welcomed the number of significant agreements reached within the Council and with the European Parliament, such as the proposed Passenger Name Record (PNR) Directive.

    • Other meeting · Press releases
    • Agriculture and Fisheries

    On 18 December 2015, under the Luxembourg Presidency and subject to the European Parliament and Council formal adoption, the Coreper (Permanent Representatives Committee) approved a final compromise on the draft "Animal Breeding Regulation". The European Parliament and the Council representatives identified the compromise package during a trilogue meeting held on 16 December.

    • Other meeting · Press releases
    • General Affairs
    Luxembourg presents the preliminary achievements of its Presidency of the Council of the European Union

    With the 12th Luxembourg Presidency of the Council of the EU drawing to a close, a preliminary report of the main results achieved over the past six months was published on 18 December 2015. The Luxembourg Presidency worked, in keeping with its traditions and convictions, to put European citizens at the heart of its initiatives, while ensuring that the real, direct interests of citizens are better taken account of in all EU policies.

    • Other meeting · News articles
    • Economic and Financial Affairs
    European Corporate Governance Conference - The right balance between the different interests at stake and sustainable long-term investment at the heart of opening speeches from Félix Braz and Věra Jourová

    The 17th European Corporate Governance Conference took place on 15 December 2015 in Luxembourg under the auspices of the Luxembourg Presidency of the Council of the EU and the European Commission. Luxembourg's Minister of Justice, Félix Braz, and the European Commissioner for Justice, Věra Jourová, delivered the opening speech for this event dedicated to the influence of new forms of financing on corporate governance, the governance of subsidiaries in multinational groups and recent developments in corporate governance of credit institutions and investment firms.

    • Other meeting · Press releases
    • Competitiveness
    Trade secrets protection - Luxembourg presidency seals deal with Parliament

    On 15 December 2015, the Luxembourg presidency reached a provisional agreement with European Parliament representatives on common rules for the protection of trade secrets and confidential information of EU companies. Etienne Schneider, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Economic Affairs of Luxembourg, congratulated the EU institutions for their excellent cooperation and for the successful outcome, and made the following comments: "Nowadays there is great diversity of systems and definitions in member states as regards the treatment and the protection of trade secrets. This new instrument will bring legal clarity and a level playing field to all European companies. It will also help increase their interest in the development of research and innovation activities”.

    • Other meeting · News articles
    • Environment
    COP21 – In Luxembourg, Carole Dieschbourg welcomes a good agreement which must now be implemented

    Two days after an agreement was reached during COP21 in Paris on tackling climate change, Luxembourg's Minister for the Environment and President of the Council of Ministers for the Environment of the European Union (EU), Carole Dieschbourg, held a press conference in Luxembourg on 14 December 2015 to give an overview of the climate change conference. The Minister hailed the 'successful' conference with 'the first universal and legally binding agreement' on climate change having been reached, while warning that it must now be implemented. 'It establishes a good basis to accelerate the transition to a new economy and living together', she stated.

    • Other meeting · Press releases
    • Environment
    COP21- An ambitious and credible agreement; a roadmap for a better world

    On 12 December 2015, an agreement was reached at COP21 which, from 2020, sets a new universal, legally binding action plan to limit global warming. "This agreement combines concrete action with solidarity and transparency. It is a credible and ambitious agreement, ensuring sustainable development. The agreement is not perfect, we were hoping for an even more ambitious agreement, but it is the result of laborious negotiations and, above all, it has been approved by all the countries. The climate change conference is the culmination of years of efforts, but it is also only the start of the process. We must build on the commitment of our citizens and the economic world to continue to strengthen our ambition and ensure that this agreement is a roadmap for a better world", declared Carole Dieschbourg, Luxembourg's Minister for Environment and President of the EU Environment Council.

    • Other meeting · News articles
    • Economic and Financial Affairs
    Conference 'Financing the Circular Economy' - How to smooth the transition towards the Circular Economy

    As part of the Luxembourg Presidency of the Council of the European Union (EU), the European Commission and the European Investment Bank (EIB) organised a conference in Luxembourg on 10 December 2015, entitled 'Financing the Circular Economy'. The purpose of this meeting was to involve the European financial sector in the Circular Economy, which is essential for EU Member States if they wish to combat commodity shortages and resulting price fluctuations and the destruction of the natural environment. Following words of welcome from Prime Minister, Xavier Bettel, and from the President of the European Investment Bank, Werner Hoyer, the European Commissioner heading the Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Karmenu Vella, presented the 'Circular Economy' package adopted by the European Commission the previous week, on 2 December 2015.

    • Other meeting · News articles
    • Development
    Closing Ceremony of the European Year of Development - Xavier Bettel calls on the EU to step up its commitment to development

    The Prime Minister, Xavier Bettel, and the Minister for Cooperation and Humanitarian Action, Romain Schneider, took part, in the presence of Henri, Grand Duke of Luxembourg, in the closing ceremony of the European Year of Development 2015 (EYD) which took place in the capital of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg on 9 December, on the sidelines of the informal meeting of Ministers for Development Cooperation. It was an opportunity to take stock and celebrate the achievements of the European Year of Development 2015 at EU level and in particular at Member States level, and highlighting the involvement of the many EU citizens throughout the year.

    • Other meeting · News articles
    • Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs, Competitiveness
    Nicolas Schmit presented the review of the Luxembourg Presidency to the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC)

    On 9 December 2015, Luxembourg's Minister for Labour, Employment and the Social and Solidarity Economy, Nicolas Schmit, appeared before the European Economic and Social Committee meeting in plenary session to present the review of the Luxembourg Presidency of the Council of the EU, which will end on 31 December 2015. Nicolas Schmit recalled the major challenges that the Luxembourg Presidency has faced, in particular 'unprecedented' migratory pressure and the fight against terrorism. Both are challenges which he believes require a united response from the EU, but which he regrets has not always been present.

    • Other meeting · News articles
    • Justice and Home Affairs, Territorial Cooperation
    ESPON Seminar – Experts have addressed the territorial aspects of refugee migration to Europe

    On 8 and 9 December 2015 within the framework of the Luxembourg Presidency of the Council of the EU, the Luxembourg-based ESPON cooperation programme organised a seminar dedicated to the territorial aspects of refugee migration, cross-border cooperation and the strategy for macro-regions. The seminar, entitled 'A world without borders' - Refugees, Cooperation and Territories', brought together in the Grand Duchy policy-makers, stakeholders, scientists and experts. It was also an opportunity to present the proposed changes for the implementation of the ESPON 2020 programme.

    • Other meeting · Press releases
    • Transport, Telecommmunications and Energy
    First EU-wide rules to improve cybersecurity: deal with the European Parliament

    On 7 December 2015, the Luxembourg presidency of the Council reached an informal agreement with the European Parliament on common rules to strengthen network and information security (NIS) across the EU. Xavier Bettel, Luxembourg's Prime Minister and Minister for Communications and the Media, and President of the Council, said: "This is an important step towards a more coordinated approach in cybersecurity across Europe. All actors, public and private, will have to step up their efforts, in particular by increased cooperation between member states and enhanced security requirements for infrastructure operators and digital services".

    • 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.

  • Updated 15-07-2015