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    • Other meeting · Press releases
    • General Affairs
    Luxembourg presents the achievements of its Presidency of the Council of the European Union

    With the 12th Luxembourg Presidency of the Council of the EU finished on 31 December 2015, a report of the main results achieved over the past six months was published on 19 January 2016. The Luxembourg Presidency worked, in keeping with its traditions and convictions, to put European citizens at the heart of its initiatives, while ensuring that the real, direct interests of citizens are better taken account of in all EU policies.

    • Other meeting · News articles
    • General Affairs
    EU-Switzerland Meeting – Jean Asselborn seeks to 'find common ground between the outcome of the popular vote and the European principles of free movement and non-discrimination'

    Luxembourg's Minister for Foreign and European Affairs and Minister for Immigration and Asylum, Jean Asselborn, representing the Luxembourg Presidency of the Council of the European Union (EU) attended the informal meeting, together with the President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, and the President of the Swiss Confederation, Simonetta Sommaruga, in Brussels on 21 December 2015. The meeting was held in the context of consultations undertaken by President Jean-Claude Juncker and President Simonetta Sommaruga following a popular vote on 9 February 2014. During the press conference which followed the meeting, the two parties stated that they had failed to reach an agreement on amendments to be made to the rules on the free movement of persons as desired by Bern, although 'some progress' had been made. A new EU-Switzerland meeting has been scheduled for the end of February.

    • Other meeting · Press releases
    • General Affairs
    Jean Asselborn chaired the intergovernmental conference between the European Union and Montenegro

    The Luxembourg Minister for Foreign and European Affairs, Jean Asselborn, chaired the seventh intergovernmental conference held between the European Union and Montenegro in Brussels on 21 December 2015. The seventh intergovernmental conference held between the European Union and Montenegro has opened two Chapters in the accession negotiations, specifically Chapiter 14, "Transport policy" and 15 "Energy". Jean Asselborn outlined that "with the two chapters opened today, we have a total of 22 out of 35 negotiations chapters open. This makes Montenegro the country that is currently the most advanced in its negotiations with the European Union, and sets a positive example for the entire region".

    • Other meeting · News articles
    • General Affairs
    Xavier Bettel presented a preliminary review of the Luxembourg Presidency of the Council of the EU at the closing of the European Council

    At the press conference following the European Council of 17 and 18 December 2015, Luxembourg's Prime Minister, Xavier Bettel, together with the President of the European Council, Donald Tusk, and the President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, presented a "preliminary review" of the Luxembourg Presidency of the Council of the EU. The Luxembourg Presidency has been marked by "a tragic and unprecedented worsening" of the refugee crisis and the tragic terrorist attacks in Paris on 13 November 2015, stated Xavier Bettel who believes that Luxembourg has acted as a mediator to find common solutions. He welcomed the number of significant agreements reached within the Council and with the European Parliament, such as the proposed Passenger Name Record (PNR) Directive.

    • Other meeting · Press releases
    • General Affairs
    Luxembourg presents the preliminary achievements of its Presidency of the Council of the European Union

    With the 12th Luxembourg Presidency of the Council of the EU drawing to a close, a preliminary report of the main results achieved over the past six months was published on 18 December 2015. The Luxembourg Presidency worked, in keeping with its traditions and convictions, to put European citizens at the heart of its initiatives, while ensuring that the real, direct interests of citizens are better taken account of in all EU policies.

    • Ministers in the European Parliament · News articles
    • General Affairs
    Nicolas Schmit presents to the European Parliament the European Council's agenda for December, which will be dominated by migration and security

    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 16 December 2015. Speaking on behalf of the Council and opening the debate on preparations for the European Council meeting to be held on 17 and 18 December 2015, he stated that it 'will tackle issues that are key for Europe'.

    • 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.

    • Council Meeting · Press releases
    • General Affairs
    Better law-making - Council approves agreement with the European Parliament and the Commission

    The European Union will improve the way it legislates to ensure that EU laws better serve citizens and businesses. That is the main purpose of an agreement on better law-making between the Council, Parliament and the Commission, which the Council endorsed on 15 December 2015. "The agreement on better law-making reflects the joint commitment of the EU institutions to make the life of citizens and companies easier. Laws need to be simple to understand and to implement, and that's precisely what the agreement seeks to ensure", said Nicolas Schmit, Minister for Labour, Employment and Social and Solidary Economy.

    • Council Meeting · Press releases
    • General Affairs
    Jean Asselborn will chair the

    The Luxembourg Minister of Foreign and European Affairs, Jean Asselborn, will chair the European Union's "General Affairs" Council (GAC) on 15 December 2015 in Brussels. The GAC will start by preparing the European Council on 17 and 18 December. In this context, the Ministers will examine draft conclusions and will review the Five Presidents' Report on completing the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU). The Ministers will also exchange views on the subjects of migration, the fight against terrorism, the single market and climate policy, as well as the role of the United Kingdom within the EU. The Council will then examine the negotiations with the European Parliament and the European Commission on the interinstitutional agreement on better regulation ("IIA").

    • Council Meeting · News articles
    • General Affairs
    General Affairs Council – Ministers approve the interinstitutional agreement on better regulation and prepare the European Council in December

    The EU ministers responsible for European affairs met in Brussels on 15 December 2015, during the EU General Affairs (GAC) chaired by the Luxembourg Minister for Foreign and European Affairs, Jean Asselborn. During the meeting, the European ministers first of all wound up preparations for the European Council of 17 and 18 December. The Council also approved the text for a new interinstitutional agreement, entitled 'Better regulation', which had been the subject of a temporary agreement with the European Parliament and the Commission of 8 December 2015. This was after three months of negotiations led by the Luxembourg Presidency, which were 'difficult', but 'always held in a positive and cooperative atmosphere'. Finally, the GAC approved the programme of works for the Council for the forthcoming eighteen months, drawn up by the trio of successive Presidencies of the Netherlands, Slovakia and Malta.

    • 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.

    • Third Country Meeting · News articles
    • General Affairs
    The 2nd Accession Conference with Serbia at Ministerial level chaired by Jean Asselborn opened the first two negotiation chapters on financial control and the normalisation of relations with Kosovo

    On behalf of the Luxembourg Presidency of the Council of the European Union, on 14 December 2015, Jean Asselborn, the Luxembourg Minister of Foreign and European Affairs, chaired the 2nd Accession Conference with Serbia at Ministerial level, which was held on the sidelines of the General Affairs Council (GAC). During this meeting, the first two negotiation chapters - one concerning financial control, the other on the normalisation of relations with Kosovo - were opened with a view to Serbia's accession to the EU.

    • Third Country Meeting · News articles
    • General Affairs
    EU-Turkey Intergovernmental Conference – Jean Asselborn announces the opening of Chapter 17 on economic and monetary policy

    For the first time in two years, a new chapter of Turkey's accession negotiations has been opened. That was what Jean Asselborn, the Luxembourg Minister for Foreign and European Affairs, announced on 14 December 2015, following an intergovernmental conference between the European Union (EU) and Turkey which took place in Brussels on the sidelines of the General Affairs Council (GAC) held on 15 December. The conference opened negotiations on Chapter 17, on 'Economic and Monetary Policy' bringing the number of chapters opened to 15 out of 35. The Minister welcomed the fact that a 'fresh impetus had been given to this process' thanks to this opening that fits 'within the context of re-energising the accession process', endorsed by the EU-Turkey Summit on 29 November 2015.

    • 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
    • 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.

  • Updated 15-07-2015