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    • Other meeting · News articles
    • Economic and Financial Affairs
    European Corporate Governance Conference - The right balance between the different interests at stake and sustainable long-term investment at the heart of opening speeches from Félix Braz and Věra Jourová

    The 17th European Corporate Governance Conference took place on 15 December 2015 in Luxembourg under the auspices of the Luxembourg Presidency of the Council of the EU and the European Commission. Luxembourg's Minister of Justice, Félix Braz, and the European Commissioner for Justice, Věra Jourová, delivered the opening speech for this event dedicated to the influence of new forms of financing on corporate governance, the governance of subsidiaries in multinational groups and recent developments in corporate governance of credit institutions and investment firms.

    • Other meeting · News articles
    • Economic and Financial Affairs
    Conference 'Financing the Circular Economy' - How to smooth the transition towards the Circular Economy

    As part of the Luxembourg Presidency of the Council of the European Union (EU), the European Commission and the European Investment Bank (EIB) organised a conference in Luxembourg on 10 December 2015, entitled 'Financing the Circular Economy'. The purpose of this meeting was to involve the European financial sector in the Circular Economy, which is essential for EU Member States if they wish to combat commodity shortages and resulting price fluctuations and the destruction of the natural environment. Following words of welcome from Prime Minister, Xavier Bettel, and from the President of the European Investment Bank, Werner Hoyer, the European Commissioner heading the Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Karmenu Vella, presented the 'Circular Economy' package adopted by the European Commission the previous week, on 2 December 2015.

    • · Press releases
    • Economic and Financial Affairs
    Manipulation of market benchmarks - Council confirms agreement with European Parliament on tougher rules

    On 9 December 2015, the Permanent Representatives Committee approved, on behalf of the Council, a compromise agreed with the European Parliament on new rules aimed at ensuring greater accuracy and integrity of benchmarks in financial instruments. "The adoption of this regulation will help restore trust in the integrity of benchmarks and enhance their robustness and reliability, thereby strengthening confidence in the financial markets and preventing new manipulation scandals," said Pierre Gramegna, minister for finance of Luxembourg and president of the Council. The agreement with the Parliament was reached during a trilogue meeting in Strasbourg on 24 November 2015.

    • Council Meeting · Press releases
    • Economic and Financial Affairs
    EU-San Marino taxation agreement signed in joint effort to improve tax compliance

    On 8 December 2015, the European Union and San Marino signed an agreement aimed at improving tax compliance by private savers. The agreement will contribute to efforts to clamp down on tax evasion, by requiring the EU member states and San Marino to exchange information automatically. This will allow their tax administrations improved cross-border access to information on the financial accounts of each other's residents. "The sharing of information between national tax authorities remains one of the fundamental elements of an effective fight against tax fraud and tax evasion", said Pierre Gramegna, Minister for Finance of Luxembourg and president of the Council. "The EU is undoubtedly a leader in this field."

    • Council Meeting · News articles
    • Economic and Financial Affairs
    ECOFIN Council – Taxation, the banking union and the financial transaction tax on the Ministers' agenda

    European Union (EU) Economy and Finance Ministers met in Brussels on 8 December 2015 for the 'Economic and Financial Affairs' (ECOFIN) Council, chaired by the Minister for Finance, Pierre Gramegna. The agenda of the meeting was largely devoted to taxation, with the adoption of conclusions on the future of a code of conduct on business taxation and on tax base erosion and profit shifting (BEPS). The Council also discussed the progress on international aspects of a proposed common consolidated corporate tax base. In addition, Ministers addressed the state of play of banking union legislation and the European Commission's proposal for a regulation establishing a European deposit guarantee scheme.

    • Council Meeting · Press releases
    • Economic and Financial Affairs

    On 8 December 2015, the Council approved the conclusion of agreements with Liechtenstein and Switzerland aimed at improving tax compliance by private savers. The two agreements will contribute to efforts to clamp down on tax evasion, by requiring the EU member states and the two countries to exchange information automatically. This will allow their tax administrations improved cross-border access to information on the financial accounts of each other's residents.

    • Council Meeting · Press releases
    • Economic and Financial Affairs
    Cross-border tax rulings - Transparency rules adopted

    On 8 December 2015, the Council adopted a directive aimed at improving transparency on tax rulings given by member states to companies in specific cases about how taxation will be dealt with. The directive is one of a number of initiatives aimed at preventing corporate tax avoidance. The new rules will be applied from 1 January 2017. In the meantime, existing obligations for member states to exchange information will stay in place.

    • Council Meeting · Press releases
    • Economic and Financial Affairs

    In a statement adopted on 8 December 2015, ECOFIN Ministers reaffirm the importance of deepening the Banking Union in the context of a well-functioning Economic and Monetary Union. Following the successful establishment of the Single Supervisory Mechanism (SSM), they welcome the forthcoming entry into force of the intergovernmental agreement on the transfer and mutualisation of contributions to the SRF (IGA), which will allow the Single Resolution Fund (SRF) to be fully operational on 1 January 2016.

    • Ministers in the European Parliament · Press releases
    • Education, Youth, Culture, Sport

    On 3 December 2015, the Minister for National Education, Children and Youth, Claude Meisch, participated in an interparliamentary meeting on education and youth at the European Parliament. In his capacity as current President of the Council of the European Union, he took part in the introductory panel meeting of the day, alongside Silvia Costa, President of the Culture Committee of the European Parliament, Tibor Navracsics, European Commissioner, and Alan Pall, Secretary General of the European Youth Forum.

    • Other meeting · Press releases
    • Education, Youth, Culture, Sport
    Education Committee - European cooperation on inclusive education

    The last meeting of the Luxembourg Presidency in the field of education was held in Luxembourg on 3 and 4 December 2015. This was also the seventh session of the Education Committee which is made up of government representatives from the 28 Member States who prepare for meetings of the Education Council and ensure the implementation of its decisions. The meeting in Luxembourg provided an opportunity to take stock of the achievements of the current trio of Presidencies for 2014-2015 and to highlight the issues to be addressed in the months to come, including the promotion of inclusive education and democratic culture.

    • · Press releases
    • Economic and Financial Affairs
    Council reaches agreement on Securitisation package, first building block of the Capital Markets Union

    On 2 December 2015, after two months of intensive and constructive negotiations under Luxembourg Presidency, Member States agreed on the Securitisation package at the meeting of the Committee of Permanent Representatives. “These proposals aim to relaunch the securitisation market, by promoting simple, transparent and standardised securitisations. The objective is to contribute to the financing of the economy and hence to the creation of jobs and growth”, said Pierre Gramegna, Minister of Finance of Luxembourg and President of the ECOFIN Council.

    • Council Meeting · Press releases
    • Economic and Financial Affairs
    Coal-fired power plants - EU endorses new OECD rules on export credits

    New rules on export credits to coal-fired power plants, developed within an OECD framework, have been endorsed by the EU. This is an important EU contribution for the COP21 negotiations on climate change, which start in Paris on 30 November 2015. It marks a further step in work ongoing since 2012 in aligning export credit policies with climate change objectives. The participants to an arrangement on officially supported export credits agreed a sector understanding on coal-fired electricity generation projects on 17 November 2015. The Council endorsed the EU's position on 26 November 2015, thus allowing the EU formally to join the consensus on the new rules.

    • · Press releases
    • Justice and Home Affairs, Education, Youth, Culture, Sport
    Researchers, students and interns from third countries – The Council approves a compromise on new rules to make the European Union more accessible

    On 26 November 2015, on behalf of the Council of the European Union, the Committee of Permanent Representatives (Coreper) approved a compromise agreed in trialogue with the European Parliament on a directive which aims to offer a coherent legal framework for third country citizens wishing to enter Europe legally for the purposes of research, study, internships, volunteering, student exchanges and au-pair work. Jean Asselborn, Luxembourg Minister for Immigration and Asylum and President in-office of the JHA Council, expressed his satisfaction with the agreement reached by the Luxembourg Presidency: "I am particularly pleased with this agreement which will offer more legal entry routes into the EU Member States. I am convinced about the added value of this new tool and the beneficial effects it will have. The directive will help to make the European Union more accessible and will attract more young talent to Europe, which will help us to invest in the future".

    • Other meeting · Press releases
    • Economic and Financial Affairs
    Luxembourg Presidency reaches agreement with the European Parliament on the Benchmarks Regulation

    On 25 November 2015, after intensive negotiations between the Council, the European Parliament and the European Commission, a deal has been struck on the proposal for a Benchmarks Regulation, subject to agreement by Member States. “The adoption of the Benchmarks Regulation will help restore confidence in the integrity of benchmarks and enhance their robustness and reliability, hence strenghtening confidence in the financial markets and preventing new manipulation scandals”, said Pierre Gramegna, Minister of Finance of Luxembourg and President of the Ecofin Council.

    • Council Meeting · News articles
    • Education, Youth, Culture, Sport
    Culture Council – Culture in EU external policy and the fight against the destruction of cultural heritage and the illicit trafficking of cultural goods take centre stage in debates

    Three major topics were high on the agenda of European Culture Ministers who met on 24 November 2015 as part of the 'Education, Youth, Culture and Sport' Council chaired by the Luxembourg Minister for Culture,Maggy Nagel: the conclusions to be adopted on culture in EU external relations, in particular as part of development cooperation, the modification of the work plan (2015–2018) for culture with the priority on intercultural dialogue, and a public debate on the destruction of cultural heritage and the illicit trafficking of cultural goods. Minister Nagel said this last debate was particularly marked by 'current events dominated by the acts of barbarism in Paris'.

    • Council Meeting · News articles
    • Education, Youth, Culture, Sport
    Sport Council – Debate on the educational potential of sport for young people, including young migrants

    The European Ministers for Sport met in Brussels on 24 November 2015 during the second day of the 'Education, Youth, Culture and Sport' Council. The Ministers adopted conclusions on the promotion of motor skills, physical and sport activities for children as well as conclusions aimed at strengthening the EU's position in the World Anti-Doping Agency. The Ministers also held a debate on the educational potential of sport for young people, including young migrants. Romain Schneider, who chaired the Council, described sport as a 'very important pillar' and a 'springboard' that can provide opportunities for young people.

    • Other meeting · News articles
    • Competitiveness, Economic and Financial Affairs

    On 24 November 2015, during the second day of the "Manufuture 2015" conference, entitled "Strategic Investments in European Manufacturing to Rise to Global Challenges", which was held in Luxembourg in the framework of the Luxembourg Presidency of the Council of the European Union (EU), European industry stakeholders and experts continued discussions on innovation in the manufacturing sector. In his opening address, Marc Hansen, Secretary of State for Higher Education and Research, declared that innovation through research helps to boost reindustrialisation.

    • Other meeting · Press releases
    • Economic and Financial Affairs
    EU 2016 budget approved by the Council

    On 24 November 2015, the Council by unanimity approved the 2016 EU budget deal agreed by the Conciliation Committee on 14 November. If the agreement is also confirmed by the European Parliament on 25 November the EU budget for 2016 is adopted. The 2016 EU budget provides for €155.00 billion in total commitments. This leaves a margin of €2.3 billion under the expenditure ceiling of the multiannual financial framework for 2014-2020, allowing the EU to react to unforeseen needs. The level of total payments is set at €143.89 billion. This is a 1.8% increase compared to the 2015 EU budget, taking into account the eight amending budgets.

  • Updated 15-07-2015