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    • Council Meeting · Press releases
    • Environment
    National emissions of air pollutants - Council agrees its position on new limits

    On 16 December 2015 the Council agreed on a general approach for the proposed directive to reduce national emissions of certain pollutants (the so called new NEC Directive). This agreement, reached during the Environment Council meeting, will serve as a basis for negotiations with the European Parliament on this file. The President of the Environment Council, Luxembourg Minister Carole Dieschbourg, commented: “Air pollution affects the health of all citizens. Urgent action is needed to improve the air quality in Europe. After difficult discussions, we achieved a balanced compromise today, which gets the support of many member states and is still ambitious. We should strive towards an outcome, which respects the ambition level of the directive and the spirit of the Paris Climate Agreement".

    • Ministers in the European Parliament · News articles
    • Environment
    COP21 - Camille Gira welcomes a

    On 15 December 2015, Camille Gira, Secretary of State for Sustainable Development and Infrastructure, addressed the European Parliament's plenary session in Strasbourg, on behalf of the Luxembourg Presidency of the Council of the EU, on the results of COP21, the United Nations conference on climate change held in Paris from 29 November to 12 December 2015. An agreement was adopted by 196 parties, which sets, from 2020, a universal binding framework designed to limit the global rise in temperatures. Camille Gira spoke of a "historic achievement" and an agreement that took 'a great step forward', while calling for the framework to be set out in more detail in the months and years ahead.

    • 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
    • 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
    • Environment
    COP21 ─ Faced with reluctant parties, Carole Dieschbourg and Miguel Arias Cañete point out that ambitious climate objectives foster economic development

    Five days before the end of negotiations at COP21, the Minister for the Environment, Carole Dieschbourg, who is representing the Luxembourg Presidency of the Council of the EU, and the European Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy, Miguel Arias Cañete, spoke to the press at a joint conference in Paris on 7 December 2015 to give an update now that the Ministers for the Environment of the 196 parties have taken over as technical negotiators for the second and final week of discussions.

    • Other meeting · Press releases
    • Environment
    Climate Conference COP21: political negotiations are starting

    After the strong statements made by the 150 Heads of States and Government meeting on 30 November, the first week has been devoted to technical negotiations. The aim of the negotiations was to present policy makers with a text containing as few options as possible. From Monday, environment ministers will take up the baton, working to resolve the outstanding issues in the negotiation agreement.

    • Other meeting · News articles
    • Environment
    COP21 - Carole Dieschbourg and Miguel Arias Cañete review the draft agreement adopted by 196 parties one week before the end of the conference

    One week after the start of negotiations as part of COP21, the Minister for the Environment, Carole Dieschbourg, who is representing the Luxembourg Presidency of the Council of the EU, and the European Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy, Miguel Arias Cañete, gave a joint press conference on 5 December 2015 in Paris to outline the EU perspective on the situation, soon after negotiators from the 196 parties had adopted a draft of the world agreement to keep global warming below 2°C.

    • Council Meeting · News articles
    • Compétitivité

    European Union (EU) Ministers in charge of research policy met in Brussels on 1 December 2015 for the second part of the Competitiveness Council, devoted to innovation and research policy, chaired by Marc Hansen, Secretary of State for Higher Education and Research. During this meeting, Ministers adopted conclusions on research integrity, promotion of equality between men and women in the European Research Area (ERA), as well as the governance of the ERA. There were also discussions on how best to use the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) to stimulate research and innovation.

    • Informal Ministerial Meeting · News articles
    • General Affairs, Territorial Cooperation
    Informal meeting of Ministers for Regional Development and ministers for Urban Policy – The need to bolster the regional cohesion of Europe at the heart of discussions

    The Minister for Sustainable Development and Infrastructure, François Bausch, chairedthe informal meetings of EU Ministers for Regional Planning and Urban Policy in Luxembourg on 26 and 27 November 2015, in the context of the Luxembourg Presidency of the Council of the EU. The regional cohesion of Europe was a crucial point of discussion at the meetings. It means finding solutions to the very unequal development of European regions and cities over the past decades – a trend which has grown with the economic and financial crises, as François Bausch explained during the press conference that followed the meetings on 27 November 2015. In his view, one of the more glaring consequences of the loss of EU cohesion is the unequal response to the migration crises.

    • Informal Ministerial Meeting · Press releases
    • General Affairs, Territorial Cooperation
    François Bausch will host the Informal Ministerial Meetings on Territorial Cohesion and Urban Policy in Luxembourg

    In the context of the Luxembourg Presidency of the Council of the European Union, the Minister for Sustainable Development and Infrastructure, François Bausch, will chair the Informal Ministerial Meetings on Territorial Cohesion and Urban Policy that will take place on 26 and 27 November 2015 in Luxembourg. Ministers will discuss on 26 November concrete actions to support territorial cohesion and their impact on overall growth and development. On 27 November, the Ministers responsible for Urban Policy will address how to support small and medium-sized cities as places of attraction and providers of essential services – from a general and a cross-border perspective.

    • Council Meeting · News articles
    • General Affairs, Territorial Cooperation
    A General Affairs Council dedicated to cohesion policy

    On 18 November 2015, Camille Gira, Secretary of State for Sustainable Development chaired the General Affairs Council dedicated to issues related to EU cohesion policy. The Council adopted three sets of conclusions: simplification of the European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF); 25 years of European Territorial Cooperation (Interreg); and the contribution of the ESIF to the shift towards a low-carbon economy. The Council agreed on the possibility for Member States to make use of Interreg to respond to challenges due to the migration crisis.

    • 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 · Press releases
    • Agriculture, pêche, Emploi, politique sociale, santé et consommateurs
    Milk, fruit and vegetables school schemes: negotiations between the Council and the Parliament

    The School Fruit and Vegetables Scheme and the School Milk Scheme are currently separate programmes under which EU aid is allocated to member states. In January 2014, the Commission presented two proposals merging the schemes and amending the new Single Common Market Organisation (single CMO) regulation under the reformed Common agricultural policy (CAP) (5958/14) and the regulation fixing certain aids and refunds (6054/14). Following the examination of the proposal in the Council, on 12 October 2015 the Special Committee on Agriculture (SCA) granted the Presidency a mandate to enter the first trilogue with the European Parliament on this proposal. The first trilogue took place on 20 October. The main issue at the time was the legal basis of the proposal, on which the mandate prepared for the 2nd trilogue shows some opening. At the end of the 2nd trilogue on 11 November, while recalling its attachment to reach a positive conclusion of this issue, the Presidency deems that it is appropriate to wait before setting the date of the next trilogue. It considers that further informal contacts in the meantime will allow to clarify some elements discussed and will facilitate those negotiations to resume efficiently as soon as possible.

    • Other meeting · Press releases
    • Environment
    Carole Dieschbourg at the Pre-COP 21-

    Representatives from more than 70 countries met in Paris from 8 to 10 November 2015 for the traditional Pre-COP event in order to identify a number of approaches in the light of a global climate change agreement to be adopted at the Conference on Climate Change in Paris at the end of November. Carole Dieschbourg, who represented the European Union alongside Commissioner Miguel Arias Cañete, highlighted the intention of the European Union to adopt a credible and ambitious agreement, not limited to the lowest common denominator. She recalled in that regard that "there is much still to be done before COP21; we need to find common ground on key issues, such as financing developing countries, a long-term objective, and transparency of the agreement".

    • Council Meeting · News articles
    • Environment
    Environment Council – Ministers discussed the Emissions Trading System, subsidies which are harmful to the environment and the global Sustainable Development Goals

    European Union (EU) Ministers for the Environment met in Luxembourg on 26 October 2015 for a Council chaired by Carole Dieschbourg, Luxembourg's Minister for the Environment. They discussed the proposal to review the European Union Emissions Trading System (ETS), the environmental dimension of the European Semester process, and studied the implementation of Agenda 2030 for sustainable development adopted at the United Nations Summit in New York in September 2015. This point was the subject of a working lunch with Ministers in charge of Cooperation, in which the Luxembourg Minister responsible for this area, Romain Schneider, also participated. The Volkswagen Affair was also on the agenda.

  • Updated 15-07-2015