- Agriculture and Fisheries
- Agriculture, pêche
- Economic and Financial Affairs
- Education, Youth, Culture, Sport
- Emploi, politique sociale, santé et consommateurs
- Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs
- Foreign Affairs
- General Affairs
- Institutional Affairs
- Justice and Home Affairs
- Territorial Cooperation
- Transport, Telecommmunications and Energy
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
For its 114th plenary session, the Committee of the Regions turned its attention to the draft opinion presented by the rapporteur, Nikola Dobroslavic, entitled "Strengthening Cross-border Cooperation: the need for a better regulatory framework?". This opinion was drawn up on the request of the Luxembourg Presidency which has made the strengthening of cross-border cooperation one of its priorities.
On 17 September 2015, Camille Gira, the Secretary of State for Sustainable Development and Infrastructure, spoke to the European Parliament's Committee on Regional Development (REGI) in Brussels to present the priorities of the Luxembourg Presidency in the areas of territorial cohesion, urban policy and cohesion policy.
The Luxembourg Presidency organised a conference dedicated to the 25th anniversary of the Interreg programme held on 15 and 16 September 2015 in Esch-Belval. The event allowed thirty speakers to review the history of Interreg and to present several examples of cross-border cooperation. Several of them stressed the importance of exchanging statistical data and reducing the administrative burden in order to improve the attractiveness of the programme.
Members of the Executive Bureau of the European Committee of the Regions (CoR) met in Luxembourg on 2 September 2015 at the 162nd meeting of the Bureau committed mainly to cross-border cooperation. On this occasion, the Secretary of State for Sustainable Development and Infrastructure, Camille Gira, was invited to present the proposals of the Luxembourg Presidency of the EU Council, which has submitted an opinion request to the CoR on the need for a better regulatory framework for cross-border cooperation. The subject was then discussed at two round tables, the first committed to cross-border issues relating to EU policy and regulations, the second to investment and financing of cross-border projects.
Minister for Home Affairs, Dan Kersch, visited Brussels on 8 July 2015 to set out the priorities of the twelfth Luxembourg Presidency of the Council of the European Union (EU) - from July to December 2015 - before the Committee of the Regions (CoR). The Luxembourg Minister was speaking at the 113th Plenary Session of the EU's Assembly of Regional and Local Representatives, one of the missions of which is to involve local and regional authorities in European decision-making and to engage more with citizens.