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    • 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”.

    • 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
    • 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.

    • 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'.

    • Council Meeting · News articles
    • Competitiveness

    European Union (EU) Ministers for Competitiveness met in Brussels on 30 November 2015 for the first part of a Competitiveness Council devoted to issues related to the internal market and industry, the last meeting of its kind under the Luxembourg Presidency. During the meeting chaired by Etienne Schneider, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for the Economy, European Ministers covered for the first time the new strategy for the internal market and also looked at the second competitiveness "check-up". The discussions also covered ways to take advantage of the new programme for better regulations to improve the functioning of the internal market, as well as recommendations for the creation of a system of national competitiveness boards in the Eurozone.

    • 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 · 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
    • 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
    • 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.

    • 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 · Press releases
    • Competitiveness
    The European steel industry is the focus of the Extraordinary Competitiveness Council in Brussels

    The Luxembourg Presidency has called an extraordinary meeting of the Competitiveness Council to respond to the deepening crisis currently affecting the European steel industry, which has led to a series of plant closures and job losses across the European Union. Chaired by the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Economy, Étienne Schneider, this meeting will be held in Brussels on 9 November 2015. Economy Ministers will review the situation and examine the measures needed to restore the industry's competitiveness.

    • Council Meeting · News articles
    • Competitiveness
    Competitiveness Council - Ministers agree on the seriousness of the steel industry's situation and on the need to take measures that will ensure the survival of the European steel sector

    EU Ministers in charge of Competitiveness met in Brussels on 9 November 2015 for an Extraordinary Meeting of the Competitiveness Council chaired by Etienne Schneider, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Economy. The discussions focused on the "deep crisis which is currently affecting the European steel sector", which has led to a series of plant closures and loss of jobs in the EU. "Our meeting led to some concrete points of action" Etienne Schneider welcomed, referring to the Presidency's conclusions, which list several measures designed to support the steel sector. Jyrki Katainen, Vice-President of the European Commission in charge of Employment, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness, highlighted the need to adopt "structural measures" at the level of Member-States and the EU, as well as on an international level, so as to create a "level playing field" for the steel market.

    • Other meeting · News articles
    • Competitiveness, Economic and Financial Affairs
    Forum on SMEs and Skilled Crafts in Europe – The need for harmonisation of European regulations at the centre of the debates on eco-innovation issues and digital transformation for SMEs

    On 29 October 2015, a Forum for exchanging ideas and best practices on SMEs and craft businesses was organised in the Chamber of Trade under the heading 'SME and Skilled Crafts in Europe' in the frame of the Luxembourg Presidency. The objective was to present the challenges and opportunities that SMEs face in terms of eco-innovation and digital transformation. During her presentation of the priorities of the Luxembourg Presidency, the Secretary of State for the Economy, Francine Closener, insisted on the need to reduce border crossing costs and to establish common regulations.

  • Updated 15-07-2015