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    • 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.

    • 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
    • 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.

    • 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.

    • 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.

    • Council Meeting · News articles
    • Foreign Affairs

    The "Trade" part of the Foreign Affairs Council chaired by the Minister for Foreign and European Affairs, Jean Asselborn, took place in Brussels on 27 November 2015. In the presence of the European Trade Commissioner, Cecilia Malmström, the Ministers focused on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) negotiations with the United States. They also discussed the preparations for the WTO Ministerial Conference, which will take place in Nairobi in December 2015, and they focused on the negotiations with Mercosur, Japan and the ASEAN countries with a view to concluding free trade agreements. The Ministers further adopted conclusions on the EU's trade and investment policy.

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

    The Luxembourg Minister of Foreign and European Affairs, Jean Asselborn, will be in Brussels on Friday, 27 November 2015 to chair the EU " Foreign Affairs Council " - European Union Trade. The meeting is part of preparations for the 10 th Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organization (WTO ) which will be held in Nairobi from 15 to 18 December 2015.

    • · 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'.

  • Updated 15-07-2015