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    • 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."

    • Council Meeting · Press releases
    • Justice and Home Affairs
    Etienne Schneider convenes an extraordinary

    On behalf of the Luxembourg Presidency of the Council of the EU, the Luxembourg Vice-prime minister and minister of Internal security, Etienne Schneider, has convened an extraordinary "Justice and Home affairs" (JHA) Council on 20 November 2015 in Brussels. This decision has been jointly taken with the French authorities. Confronted with barbarism and terrorism, Europe stands united with France. Following the tragic events in Paris, this extraordinary JHA Council will strengthen the European response while ensuring the follow-up of the measures taken.

    • Council Meeting · Press releases
    • Justice and Home Affairs
    Étienne Schneider: 'The Extraordinary Council must produce concrete results and decide on tangible measures'

    The Deputy Prime Minister for Internal Security, Étienne Schneider, will chair the extraordinary session of the Justice and Home Affairs Council (JHA) in Brussels on 20 November 2015. In cooperation with the French authorities, the Luxembourg Presidency convened the meeting to discuss and decide on the European response to the Paris attacks. The joint meeting will focus primarily on the European system for passenger name records (PNR), arms trafficking, strengthening external EU border controls and the fight against financing terrorism.

    • Ministers in the European Parliament · Press releases
    • Justice and Home Affairs
    Étienne Schneider meets the president of the European Parliament Martin Schulz in order to discuss a European response to the Paris attacks

    The deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Internal Security Étienne Schneider has met in Brussels, on 17 November 2015, the president of the European Parliament Martin Schulz. Following the terrorist attacks carried out in Paris on 13 November, and in view to strengthening the European response, the aim of this meeting was to ensure a greater involvement of the European Parliament in the future decisions to be taken on measures on security and in the domain of the fight against terrorism. In this context, the president of the European Parliament and Minister Schneider discussed the state of play of the negotiation on the proposal for a directive on the use of Passenger Name Record (PNR) data for the prevention, detection, investigation and prosecution of terrorist offences and serious crime.

    • Council Meeting · Press releases
    • Justice and Home Affairs
    Joint declaration by European Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos, French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve, and Deputy Prime Minister Etienne Schneider, representing the Luxembourgish Presidency of the Council of the EU

    “The barbaric attacks of 13 November 2015 are an attack against Europe as a whole. Europe has an historic responsibility to defend its fundamental values and not to succumb to terror. Europe remains united in solidarity against violence and hatred. We have this evening met in Paris in order to coordinate the immediate European action in response to the attacks and to prevent future attacks. European citizens expect a rapid, concrete and efficient response from the European Union. In this framework, the Luxembourg Presidency of the Council of the European Union has convened, in coordination with France, an extraordinary meeting of the 'Justice and Home Affairs' Ministers on Friday 20 November in Brussels in order to provide a strong and united European response. It will focus on the following key subjects: a European PNR, the question of firearms security and the reinforcement of controls at external borders. We underlined the urgent need to take rapid and operational decisions and to put them into practice in a short timespan.”

    • Third Country Meeting · Press releases
    • Justice and Home Affairs
    EU-US Ministerial meeting on Justice and Home Affairs - Final statement

    On 13 November, the EU-US Ministerial Meeting on Justice and Home Affairs took place. This is a meeting held twice a year with the aim to oversee the Trans-Atlantic cooperation to fight terrorism and transnational crime. The United States of America which hosted the event was represented by US Attorney General Loretta Lynch and Department for Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson. The EU was represented by Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship Dimitris Avramopoulos, Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality Věra Jourová, and the current holder of the Presidency of the Council of the European Union, Luxembourg Deputy Prime Minister Etienne Schneider and Minister of Justice Félix Braz.

    • 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".

    • 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.

    • · Press releases
    • Justice and Home Affairs
    Presumption of innocence - Council confirms the agreement found with European Parliament

    On 4 November 2015, the Permanent Representatives Committee (Coreper) approved a compromise text agreed with the European Parliament on a directive on the strengthening of certain aspects of the presumption of innocence and the right to be present at trial in criminal proceedings. "This agreement reached under the Luxembourg Presidency with the European Parliament is an important step in the creation of a European judicial area. The presumption of innocence is a fundamental principle of the legal process and one of the most important rights of the defence. This directive will strengthen the rights of suspects and accused persons in the EU by setting common minimum standards which will govern the basic rights of a fair trial", said Félix Braz, Luxembourg Minister for Justice and President of the Council.

    • 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.

    • Other meeting · Press releases
    • Justice and Home Affairs
    Migratory crisis: EU Council Presidency steps up information sharing between member states by activating IPCR

    The Council has taken over the last weeks a number of decisions to respond to the current migratory crisis. The scale of migratory flows has demonstrated the need for a more coordinated information sharing. The Luxembourg Presidency therefore decided on 30 October 2015 to trigger the Integrated Political Crisis Response (IPCR) arrangements on an "information sharing mode". The aim is to monitor the development of migratory flows, to support decision-making and to better implement the agreed measures.

    • Ministers in the European Parliament · News articles
    • Justice and Home Affairs
    Nicolas Schmit set out the Council's position on the

    The Luxembourg Minister in charge of relations with the European Parliament throughout the Luxembourg Presidency of the Council, Nicolas Schmit, spoke on 28 October 2015 on behalf of the Council to the plenary session of the European Parliament in Strasbourg to discuss the "Smart Borders" package . He was responding to an oral question from the British MEP Claude Moraes (S&D). In his response, Nicolas Schmit stated that the creation of a European entry/exit system is "a necessary step to preserve the Schengen area".

    • Ministers in the European Parliament · News articles
    • Justice and Home Affairs
    Speaking to the European Parliament, Nicolas Schmit replies to an oral question on the electronic mass electronic surveillance of European Union citizens

    On 28 October 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 assembly in Strasbourg in reply to an oral question on the mass electronic surveillance of EU citizens. Nicolas Schmit reminded those present that the Council shared the European Parliament's concerns regarding the secret surveillance programmes and their impact on the private lives and personal data of EU citizens. The Minister stressed that while Member States must take steps to protect their citizens from terrorism and other attacks on their sovereignty, they must also protect fundamental rights.

  • Updated 15-07-2015