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    • Ministers in the European Parliament · News articles
    • Justice and Home Affairs
    Etienne Schneider presented the achievements of the Luxembourg Presidency in the field of internal security to the LIBE Committee of the European Parliament

    The Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Internal Security, Etienne Schneider, presented the achievements of the Luxembourg Presidency of the Council of the European Union in the field of internal security to the LIBE Committee of the European Parliament on 21 December 2015. Counter-terrorism has dominated these achievements. According to him, "substantial progress" was made on the following issues: implementing the renewed internal security strategy for the period 2015-2020, the new Europol regulations and the PNR Directive, the fight against foreign terrorist fighters and combating illicit trafficking of firearms.

    • Ministers in the European Parliament · News articles
    • Justice and Home Affairs
    Before the LIBE Committee of the European Parliament, Jean Asselborn gave an overview of the Luxembourg Presidency within the context of the migration and refugee crisis

    Jean Asselborn, Luxembourg's Minister for Foreign and European Affairs, visited Brussels on 21 December 2015 to give an overview of the Luxembourg Presidency before the European Parliament's Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE) Committee. Before MEPs, the Minister reviewed the work carried out in the field of migration policy and in respect of launching political dialogue with regard to the rule of law.

    • Ministers in the European Parliament · News articles
    • Justice and Home Affairs
    Félix Braz presented the achievements of the Luxembourg Presidency in the field of Justice and Data Protection to the LIBE Committee of the European Parliament

    On 21 December 2015, Félix Braz, the Luxembourg Minister of Justice, travelled to Brussels for the purpose of reporting on the achievements of the Luxembourg Presidency of the Council of the EU before the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE) of the European Parliament, alongside Etienne Schneider, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Internal Security, and Jean Asselborn, Minister of Foreign and European Affairs and Minister of Immigration and Asylum. He presented the achievements of the Presidency in the field of Justice and Protection of Personal Data, specifically regarding the agreement reached on the regulation and the directive relating to the protection of personal data and regarding the agreements reached on procedural guarantees in criminal law matters. The Minister likewise pointed to the creation of a European Public Prosecutor's Office, the contribution of Justice in combatting terrorism and radicalisation, as well as judicial cooperation in the context of the migration crisis.

    • Ministers in the European Parliament · News articles
    • Justice and Home Affairs
    Nicolas Schmit speaks on behalf of the Council with regard to the detention of asylum seekers before a European Parliament concerned with the respect of fundamental rights of migrants and refugees

    On 16 December 2015, Nicolas Schmit, the Minister responsible for relations with the European Parliament, spoke on behalf of the Council before MEPs meeting in plenary session for a debate on the detention and use of force with regard to asylum seekers. Nicolas Schmit explained that detention measures may only be taken in exceptional circumstances and must be non-arbitrary, since a migrant is entitled, like any other person, to the right to liberty on the basis of international and European law.

    • Informal Ministerial Meeting · News articles
    • Development
    Informal meeting of Ministers for Development Cooperation – Ministers stress the importance of development for world stability

    European Union (EU) Member State Ministers in charge of Development Cooperation met in Luxembourg on 9 and 10 December 2015 for an informal meeting marked by the closing of the European Year for Development 2015 (EYD). The negotiations underway at the Paris Climate Change Conference (COP 21), the Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development, as well as a discussion with NGOs were on the agenda of this meeting chaired by the Minister for Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Affairs, Romain Schneider.

    • 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
    • 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 · 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.

    • Council Meeting · News articles
    • Justice and Home Affairs
    JHA Council – Jean Asselborn believes it is high time to get the relocation mechanism off the ground

    EU Home Affairs ministers met in Brussels on 4 December 2015 for the third part of the Justice and Home Affairs (JHA) Council, mainly dedicated to the EU migration and refugee crisis. During this part of the Council meeting chaired by Jean Asselborn, Minister for Immigration and Asylum, the participants were informed of the situation on the ground as well as the progress being made on the implementation of the latest measures taken by the EU. They also debated the action required to strengthen the Schengen area with the temporary reintroduction of internal border controls by a number of Member States.

    • Council Meeting · News articles
    • Justice and Home Affairs
    JHA Council – Ministers responsible for internal security confirm the agreement reached with the European Parliament on the proposal for a PNR directive

    The second part of the 'Justice and Home Affairs' (JHA) Council devoted to internal security was held on 4 December 2015 in Brussels in the presence of ministers from the European Union (EU) Member States in charge of this competence. The meeting, chaired by Etienne Schneider, Minister for Internal Security, was an opportunity for the participants to adopt the compromise text agreed with the European Parliament on the proposal for a PNR directive. At the meeting, ministers also approved the agreement reached with the European Parliament on the Europol regulation, and discussed the renewed European Union Internal Security Strategy 2015-2020 and measures taken to combat terrorism.

    • Council Meeting · News articles
    • Justice and Home Affairs
    JHA Justice - Félix Braz laments the fact that Poland and Hungary are blocking agreement on matrimonial regimes and property consequences of registered partnerships

    Ministers for Justice of Member States of the European Union (EU) met in Brussels on 3 December 2015 for the first part of the "Justice and Home Affairs" (JHA) Council, chaired by Félix Braz, Minister for Justice. In particular, participants were able to reach an "agreement in principle" on the draft regulation on the European Public Prosecutor's Office, but they failed to agree on regulations on matrimonial regimes and the property consequences of registered partnerships. They also confirmed the political agreement reached in a trilogue on a regulation simplifying the acceptance of certain public documents in the EU.

    • Ministers in the European Parliament · News articles
    • Development
    Speaking in front of the Members of the European Parliament, Nicolas Schmit reported on the European Year for Development

    On 2 December 2015, Nicolas Schmit, the Minister responsible for relations with the European Parliament during the Luxembourg Presidency of the Council of the European Union (EU), addressed the plenary session in Brussels during a debate on the European Year for Development. A few days before the closing ceremony to be held on 9 December 2015 in Luxembourg and in the margins of the informal meeting of the Ministers for Cooperation and Development, Nicolas Schmit delivered the Council's declaration on the implementation and assessment of the European Year, praising 'a stellar example of cooperation between the European Union institutions, Member States, civil society, the private sector and all those with an interest in development'.

    • 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.

    • Ministers in the European Parliament · News articles
    • Justice and Home Affairs
    Nicolas Schmit presents the results of the Valletta Summit on Migration to Euro MEPs and welcomes a new partnership with Africa

    On 25 November 2015, Nicolas Schmit, the Minister responsible for relations with the European Parliament during the Luxembourg Presidency of the EU Council, addressed MEPs meeting in plenary session in Strasbourg in order to present the results of the Valletta Summit held on 11 and 12 November 2015 and the G20 Summit on 15 and 16 November 2015.

    • Ministers in the European Parliament · News articles
    • Justice and Home Affairs
    Paris attacks – Nicolas Schmit calls for deeper and more extensive European cooperation against terrorism during a debate in the European Parliament

    Nicolas Schmit, the Minister responsible for relations with the European Parliament during the Luxembourg Presidency of the Council of the EU, addressed the plenary session of the European Parliament in Strasbourg on 25 November 2015. He represented the Council at the debate on the Paris terrorist attacks of 13 November 2015, also attended by the European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker. In particular, the debate focused on current and future anti-terror measures, referring to the conclusions of the extraordinary JHA Council of 20 November 2015. 'We need deeper and more extensive European cooperation' Nicolas Schmit pledged his support to the victims of terrorism before the MEPs, and called for deeper and more extensive European cooperation.

    • Council Meeting · News articles
    • Justice and Home Affairs
    Extraordinary JHA Council – European Ministers for Justice and Home Affairs adopt a package of measures to be implemented in the near future as a European response to the attacks in Paris

    Ministers for Justice and Home Affairs met in Brussels on 20 November 2015 for an extraordinary meeting of the Justice and Home Affairs (JHA) Council convened by the Luxembourg Presidency as an emergency response to the tragic events in Paris on 13 November. Etienne Schneider, Luxembourg's Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Internal Security, and Félix Braz, Minister of Justice, chaired the meeting convened at the request of France. Alongside their French counterparts, Bernard Cazeneuve, Minister of Home Affairs, and Christiane Taubira, Minister of Justice, they presented the conclusions drawn from the meeting to the press."Our ambition is to achieve a constant level of simple, effective and truly operational cooperation."

    • Third Country Meeting · News articles
    • Foreign Affairs, Justice and Home Affairs
    In his speech at the Valletta Summit on migration, Xavier Bettel urges ministers to adopt a

    On 11 November, Xavier Bettel, the Prime Minister of Luxembourg, gave a speech at the opening session of the Valletta Summit on migration acting in his capacity as Head of Government for Luxembourg which currently holds the rotating Presidency of the Council of the EU. In his speech, Xavier Bettel stated that "Europe is experiencing its greatest migration crisis since the Second World War". He also stressed that "relations between our two continents cannot be built upon illegal or irregular migration, affirming his belief that a "two-way" solution must be found on migration. He concluded with an appeal to the African Heads of State and Government: "In view of the scale of the challenge that we are facing, humanitarian and development aid will, however, not be enough to meet the expectations of African youth who are full of hope and ambition. The response they are waiting for lies entirely in your hands, and we Europeans can only assist you in your efforts".

    • Ministers in the European Parliament · News articles
    • Development, Foreign Affairs
    Before the European Parliament, Nicolas Schmit recognised that Member States' contributions to the Union's Trust Fund for Syria and Africa are still insufficient, before specifying that they may still be subject to variations

    On 11 November 2015, the Luxembourg Minister Nicolas Schmit, responsible for relations with the European Parliament during the Luxembourg Presidency of the Council of the EU, addressed the plenary session of the European Parliament held in Brussels, on behalf of the Council of the EU. The MEPs discussed the funding of the Union's two new trust funds for Syria and Africa, the "EU Regional Trust Fund" set up in response to the Syrian crisis ("Madad" Fund), and the "Emergency Trust Fund for stability and the fight against the deep-seated causes of illegal migration and the phenomenon of displaced persons in Africa". They invited the Member States to respect their commitments on this matter. Nicolas Schmit recognised that Member States' commitments to the trust funds were insufficient, however, he indicated that these are likely to increase, in particular through the Valletta Summit. He also called on MEPs to take account of the international nature of the crisis.

    • Council Meeting · News articles
    • Justice and Home Affairs
    Extraordinary JHA Council – The Presidency proposes the creation of 'processing centres' in addition to hotspots, in order to handle asylum seekers, especially for the Balkans

    European Ministers of Home Affairs met in Brussels on 9 November 2015 for the extraordinary Justice and Home Affairs (JHA) Council devoted to the migration and refugee crisis in the EU. This meeting was convened by the Luxembourg Presidency to discuss the operational plan for the measures decided at European level in recent months - the relocation mechanism for 160,000 asylum seekers in the EU, the first reception facilities ('hotspots'), the return policy and relations with the countries of origin. In that regard, and faced with a mass influx of asylum seekers, the Presidency proposed the creation of 'processing centres' in addition to hotspots, in order to handle refugees and migrants on the rest of the migratory route, in particular for the Balkans.

    • Other meeting · News articles
    • Justice and Home Affairs
    On a visit to Athens, Jean Asselborn attended the departure of 30 asylum seekers for relocation to Luxembourg

    On 4 November 2015, Jean Asselborn, Minister for Foreign and European Affairs and Minister of Immigration and Asylum of Luxembourg, went to Athens with Dimitris Avramopoulos, European Commissioner for Migration and Home Affairs, to meet the first 30 asylum seekers to benefit from the relocation mechanism from Greece agreed by European ministers in September under the Luxembourg Presidency of the Council of the EU. From Athens airport, together with the Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, the President of the European Parliament Martin Schulz, and the Delegate Greek Minister for Migration Ioannis Mouzalas, they attended the departure of the first group of asylum candidates to Luxembourg, which will process their asylum application, before speaking to the press.

  • Updated 15-07-2015