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    • Ministers in the European Parliament · News articles
    • Justice and Home Affairs
    Etienne Schneider presented the achievements of the Luxembourg Presidency in the field of internal security to the LIBE Committee of the European Parliament

    The Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Internal Security, Etienne Schneider, presented the achievements of the Luxembourg Presidency of the Council of the European Union in the field of internal security to the LIBE Committee of the European Parliament on 21 December 2015. Counter-terrorism has dominated these achievements. According to him, "substantial progress" was made on the following issues: implementing the renewed internal security strategy for the period 2015-2020, the new Europol regulations and the PNR Directive, the fight against foreign terrorist fighters and combating illicit trafficking of firearms.

    • Ministers in the European Parliament · News articles
    • Justice and Home Affairs
    Before the LIBE Committee of the European Parliament, Jean Asselborn gave an overview of the Luxembourg Presidency within the context of the migration and refugee crisis

    Jean Asselborn, Luxembourg's Minister for Foreign and European Affairs, visited Brussels on 21 December 2015 to give an overview of the Luxembourg Presidency before the European Parliament's Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE) Committee. Before MEPs, the Minister reviewed the work carried out in the field of migration policy and in respect of launching political dialogue with regard to the rule of law.

    • Ministers in the European Parliament · News articles
    • Justice and Home Affairs
    Félix Braz presented the achievements of the Luxembourg Presidency in the field of Justice and Data Protection to the LIBE Committee of the European Parliament

    On 21 December 2015, Félix Braz, the Luxembourg Minister of Justice, travelled to Brussels for the purpose of reporting on the achievements of the Luxembourg Presidency of the Council of the EU before the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE) of the European Parliament, alongside Etienne Schneider, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Internal Security, and Jean Asselborn, Minister of Foreign and European Affairs and Minister of Immigration and Asylum. He presented the achievements of the Presidency in the field of Justice and Protection of Personal Data, specifically regarding the agreement reached on the regulation and the directive relating to the protection of personal data and regarding the agreements reached on procedural guarantees in criminal law matters. The Minister likewise pointed to the creation of a European Public Prosecutor's Office, the contribution of Justice in combatting terrorism and radicalisation, as well as judicial cooperation in the context of the migration crisis.

    • Other meeting · Press releases
    • Justice and Home Affairs
    EU data protection reform: Council confirms agreement with the European Parliament

    On 18 December 2015, the Permanent Representatives Committee (Coreper) confirmed the compromise texts agreed with the European Parliament on data protection reform. The agreement was reached between the Council, Parliament and Commission on the 15 December. This agreement is in line with the request from the European Council for negotiations on data protection reform to be concluded by the end of 2015. Félix Braz, Luxembourg Minister of Justice and President of the Council said: "It is a fundamental agreement with important consequences. This reform not only strengthens the rights of citizens, but also adapts the rules to the digital age for companies, whilst reducing the administrative burden. These are ambitious and forward-looking texts. We can have full confidence in the result."

    • Ministers in the European Parliament · News articles
    • Justice and Home Affairs
    Nicolas Schmit speaks on behalf of the Council with regard to the detention of asylum seekers before a European Parliament concerned with the respect of fundamental rights of migrants and refugees

    On 16 December 2015, Nicolas Schmit, the Minister responsible for relations with the European Parliament, spoke on behalf of the Council before MEPs meeting in plenary session for a debate on the detention and use of force with regard to asylum seekers. Nicolas Schmit explained that detention measures may only be taken in exceptional circumstances and must be non-arbitrary, since a migrant is entitled, like any other person, to the right to liberty on the basis of international and European law.

    • · Press releases
    • Justice and Home Affairs
    Procedural safeguards for children in criminal proceedings - Council confirms deal with European Parliament

    On 16 December 2015, the Permanent Representatives Committee (Coreper) approved a compromise text agreed with the European Parliament on a directive on procedural safeguards for children in criminal proceedings. Félix Braz, Luxembourg Minister for Justice and President of the Council said: "The agreement reached with the European Parliament is an important step forward for the European judicial area. This is the first binding instrument in this area and is a real breakthrough, particularly as regards the assistance of children by a lawyer. The new directive will contribute to enhancing mutual trust between the judicial systems of the Union."

    • Ministers in the European Parliament · Press releases
    • Justice and Home Affairs
    'Data Protection' Package: a historic agreement

    On 15 December 2015, the Luxembourg Presidency of the Council of the European Union reached an informal agreement in trialogues with the European Parliament on the 'Data Protection' Package which will set out new European rules on privacy in the digital age. The agreement reached by the Luxembourg Presidency will have to be confirmed at the level of the Council of the EU by the 28 Member States, and will be addressed by a Coreper meeting to be held before 21 December 2015. Félix Braz, Luxembourg's Minister for Justice and President of the Council, declared: 'It is a fundamental agreement with significant consequences. This reform not only strengthens the rights of citizens, but also adapts the rules to the digital age for companies, whilst reducing the administrative burden. They are ambitious and forward-looking texts. We can have full confidence in the result.'

    • Other meeting · News articles
    • Justice and Home Affairs, Territorial Cooperation
    ESPON Seminar – Experts have addressed the territorial aspects of refugee migration to Europe

    On 8 and 9 December 2015 within the framework of the Luxembourg Presidency of the Council of the EU, the Luxembourg-based ESPON cooperation programme organised a seminar dedicated to the territorial aspects of refugee migration, cross-border cooperation and the strategy for macro-regions. The seminar, entitled 'A world without borders' - Refugees, Cooperation and Territories', brought together in the Grand Duchy policy-makers, stakeholders, scientists and experts. It was also an opportunity to present the proposed changes for the implementation of the ESPON 2020 programme.

    • 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.

    • Council Meeting · News articles
    • Justice and Home Affairs
    JHA Council – Jean Asselborn believes it is high time to get the relocation mechanism off the ground

    EU Home Affairs ministers met in Brussels on 4 December 2015 for the third part of the Justice and Home Affairs (JHA) Council, mainly dedicated to the EU migration and refugee crisis. During this part of the Council meeting chaired by Jean Asselborn, Minister for Immigration and Asylum, the participants were informed of the situation on the ground as well as the progress being made on the implementation of the latest measures taken by the EU. They also debated the action required to strengthen the Schengen area with the temporary reintroduction of internal border controls by a number of Member States.

    • Council Meeting · Press releases
    • Justice and Home Affairs
    EU Passenger Name Record (PNR) directive - Council confirms agreement found with EP

    On 4 December 2015 the Council approved the compromise text agreed with the European Parliament on the proposal for a directive on the use of passenger name record (PNR) data for the prevention, detection, investigation and prosecution of terrorist offences and serious crime. “The compromise agreed today will enable the EU to set up an effective PNR system which fully respects fundamental rights and freedoms”, said Etienne Schneider, Luxembourg Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Internal Security and President of the Council.

    • Council Meeting · Press releases
    • Justice and Home Affairs
    Updated rules for Europol - Council confirms the agreement found with European Parliament

    On 4 December 2015 the Council approved the compromise text agreed with the European Parliament on a draft regulation on the European Agency for Law Enforcement Cooperation and Training (Europol), which paves the way for the formal adoption of the regulation by the co-legislators in the coming months. Etienne Schneider, Luxembourg Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Internal Security and President of the Council said: "The finalisation of the Europol regulation was a high priority of our Presidency. Our priority was to give a solid legal basis to Europol enabling it to maximize its potential at the service of the member states, and this in full respect of the competences of all the actors involved. This is done today. I am fully satisfied with the result, which is an important step to strengthen police cooperation in Europe".

    • Council Meeting · News articles
    • Justice and Home Affairs
    JHA Council – Ministers responsible for internal security confirm the agreement reached with the European Parliament on the proposal for a PNR directive

    The second part of the 'Justice and Home Affairs' (JHA) Council devoted to internal security was held on 4 December 2015 in Brussels in the presence of ministers from the European Union (EU) Member States in charge of this competence. The meeting, chaired by Etienne Schneider, Minister for Internal Security, was an opportunity for the participants to adopt the compromise text agreed with the European Parliament on the proposal for a PNR directive. At the meeting, ministers also approved the agreement reached with the European Parliament on the Europol regulation, and discussed the renewed European Union Internal Security Strategy 2015-2020 and measures taken to combat terrorism.

    • 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 · News articles
    • Justice and Home Affairs
    JHA Justice - Félix Braz laments the fact that Poland and Hungary are blocking agreement on matrimonial regimes and property consequences of registered partnerships

    Ministers for Justice of Member States of the European Union (EU) met in Brussels on 3 December 2015 for the first part of the "Justice and Home Affairs" (JHA) Council, chaired by Félix Braz, Minister for Justice. In particular, participants were able to reach an "agreement in principle" on the draft regulation on the European Public Prosecutor's Office, but they failed to agree on regulations on matrimonial regimes and the property consequences of registered partnerships. They also confirmed the political agreement reached in a trilogue on a regulation simplifying the acceptance of certain public documents in the EU.

    • 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.

    • 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.

  • Updated 15-07-2015