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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".

    • Council Meeting · Press releases
    • Foreign Affairs
    EU-Canada trade negotiating mandate made public

    The Council decided on 15 December 2015 to declassify the directives given to the Commission to negotiate a comprehensive economic and trade agreement with Canada. The 2009 negotiating directives, as well as a 2011 modification to allow for talks on investment protection, were made public the same day. The decision was taken without discussion at an extraordinary meeting of the Council, in the margins of a WTO ministerial conference in Nairobi. It was taken by common accord.

    • 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.

    • Council Meeting · Council conclusions
    • Foreign Affairs

    First Council conclusions on the 10th World Trade Organization Ministerial Conference Second Council conclusions on the 10th World Trade Organization Ministerial Conference

    • Council Meeting · Press releases
    • Foreign Affairs
    The Luxembourg Presidency at the Foreign Affairs Council – Trade and the 10th Ministerial Conference of the WTO in Nairobi from 16 to 19 December 2015

    Luxembourg's Minister for Foreign and European Affairs, Jean Asselborn, and the Minister for Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Affairs, Romain Schneider, were in Nairobi, Kenya, from 16 to 19 December to chair the European Union's Foreign Affairs (Trade) Council and to attend the 10th Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organization (WTO).

    • 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
    • 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.

    • 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.

    • Ministers in the European Parliament · News articles
    • Foreign Affairs
    Addressing the European Parliament, Nicolas Schmit says the EU-Turkey summit has achieved concrete results

    On 2 December 2015, Nicolas Schmit, the Minister responsible for relations with the European Parliament during the Luxembourg Presidency of the EU Council, addressed the plenary session of Parliament in Brussels on the results of the EU-Turkey summit held on 29 November 2015. 'This meeting was very timely, because it enabled issues of vital importance for the Union's security' to be dealt with, said Nicolas Schmit, by way of introduction. He believed the meeting had achieved 'concrete results'. Frans Timmermans, Vice-President of the European Commission, stated that we should not be 'ashamed' of the agreement with Turkey, because it is based on a 'shared interest'.

    • Third Country Meeting · Press releases
    • Foreign Affairs, Justice and Home Affairs
    EU signs visa waiver agreement with Colombia

    On 2 December 2015 the EU signed a short-stay visa waiver agreement with Colombia, at a ceremony that took place in Brussels. On behalf of the EU, the agreement was signed by Jean Asselborn, Minister of Immigration and Asylum of Luxembourg and President of the Council, and by Dimitris Avramopoulos, Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship. On the Colombian side, Maria Angela Holguín, Minister of Foreign Affairs, signed the agreement. The new visa regime provides for visa-free travel for EU citizens when travelling to the territory of Colombia and for citizens of Colombia when travelling to the EU, for a period of stay of 90 days in any 180-day period.

    • Other meeting · News articles
    • Foreign Affairs
    54th meeting of COSAC – enlargement policy is the focus for debates by national representatives

    The theme for the second day of work for the representatives of national parliaments of EU Member States, meeting in Luxembourg on 30 November and 1 December 2015 for the 54th meeting of COSAC (Conference of Parliamentary Committees for Union Affairs of Parliaments of the European Union), was the EU's enlargement policy.

    • Ministers in the European Parliament · News articles
    • Foreign Affairs
    Jean Asselborn has taken stock of the Luxembourg Presidency regarding trade policy before the European Parliament's International Trade Committee

    Jean Asselborn, the Luxembourg Minister for Foreign and European Affairs, visited Brussels on 1 December 2015 to take stock before the European Parliament's International Trade Committee (INTA) of the Luxembourg Presidency's trade policy. In his introduction, the Minister reminded those present of the importance attached by the Presidency to a coherent, responsible and inclusive trade policy. The transparency of the negotiations and the coherence of different policies have also guided the work of the Presidency regarding trade policy, the Minister said.

    • 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.

  • Updated 15-07-2015