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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
    • 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.

    • 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.

    • 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.

    • 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 · 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.

  • Updated 15-07-2015