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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
    • 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 · 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
    • 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".

    • 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.

    • Council Meeting · News articles
    • Education, Youth, Culture, Sport
    Education and Youth Council – The prevention of radicalisation dominated ministerial debates

    Ministers of Youth and Education for EU Member States met on 23 November 2015 in Brussels for the first part of the 'Education, Youth, Culture and Sports' Council. Following the tragic events in Paris on 13 November 2015, the Ministers discussed the need to prevent radicalisation by reinforcing social inclusion and preventing the marginalisation of young people. Claude Meisch, Minister for National Education, Childhood and Youth, chaired the Council. During the press conference, he remarked that the Ministers examined how education, schools, childcare facilities and youth initiatives could contribute towards preventing such 'barbaric acts'.

    • Council Meeting · Background notes
    • Education, Youth, Culture, Sport

    Education, Youth, Culture and Sports Council - Background brief Presidency discussion paper: The role of youth policy and youth work with regards to migration - supporting intercultural awareness and the integration of migrants Acting together against the destruction and illicit

    • Other meeting · Press releases
    • Education, Youth, Culture, Sport
    Joint declaration of the Ministers for Culture of the European Union, of the Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport, and of the President of the Committee on Culture and Education of the European Parliament

    "The tragic events of 13 November 2015 in Paris once again plunge the European Union into mourning. They are a wake-up call. As the Ministers for Culture of the European Union and senior Representatives of the EU institutions, we wish to express our solidarity with the victims and their loved ones, and with the French people as a whole. We also wish to reiterate our condemnation of this senseless barbarity which seeks to undermine our essential values in the most violent way. Faced with such violence and attempts to disrupt our ways of life, our beliefs and our freedoms, culture - even more so than in the past - has a crucial contribution to make towards opening minds and promoting tolerance, intercultural dialogue, social integration and mutual respect. One of the foremost responses which Europe should provide to intolerance, xenophobia, obscurantism, fanaticism of all kinds and radicalisation lies in culture."

    • Other meeting · News articles
    • Education, Youth, Culture, Sport
    Conference on Dual Careers of Athletes – Romain Schneider spoke in favour of the best possible provision for balancing sport with study and the best possibilities for training and transition for a post-sports career

    Within the framework of Luxembourg's Presidency of the Council of the European Union (EU), the Ministry of Sport, working together with the European Commission and Sportlycée Luxembourg, organised an international conference on promoting the dual career of athletes. It was held on 20 November 2015 in Munsbach. The meeting, which brought together experts, sportspeople and politicians, set out to report on work done at European level on the subject, and to enable exchanges of experience and ideas between those involved, with a view to identifying plans for progress "on all aspects of a subject which is one of our Presidency's priorities", as emphasised by Romain Schneider, Minister for Sports, who gave the opening address at the conference.

  • Updated 15-07-2015