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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.

    • 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.

    • 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.

    • Council Meeting · Press releases
    • General Affairs
    Court of Justice of the EU - Council adopts reform of General Court

    On 3 December 2015, the Council adopted a regulation reforming the General Court. The aim of the reform is to enable the General Court to face an increasing workload and to ensure that legal redress in the EU is guaranteed within a reasonable time. "The reform of the General Court reinforces an institution that has provided significant impetus to European integration", said Félix Braz, Minister for Justice of Luxembourg and President of the Council.

    • 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.

    • Informal Ministerial Meeting · News articles
    • General Affairs, Territorial Cooperation
    Informal meeting of Ministers for Regional Development and ministers for Urban Policy – The need to bolster the regional cohesion of Europe at the heart of discussions

    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.

    • Informal Ministerial Meeting · Press releases
    • General Affairs, Territorial Cooperation
    François Bausch will host the Informal Ministerial Meetings on Territorial Cohesion and Urban Policy in Luxembourg

    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.

    • · 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'.

  • Updated 15-07-2015