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    • Council Meeting · Press releases
    • Economic and Financial Affairs
    Coal-fired power plants - EU endorses new OECD rules on export credits

    New rules on export credits to coal-fired power plants, developed within an OECD framework, have been endorsed by the EU. This is an important EU contribution for the COP21 negotiations on climate change, which start in Paris on 30 November 2015. It marks a further step in work ongoing since 2012 in aligning export credit policies with climate change objectives. The participants to an arrangement on officially supported export credits agreed a sector understanding on coal-fired electricity generation projects on 17 November 2015. The Council endorsed the EU's position on 26 November 2015, thus allowing the EU formally to join the consensus on the new rules.

    • Other meeting · Press releases
    • Economic and Financial Affairs
    Luxembourg Presidency reaches agreement with the European Parliament on the Benchmarks Regulation

    On 25 November 2015, after intensive negotiations between the Council, the European Parliament and the European Commission, a deal has been struck on the proposal for a Benchmarks Regulation, subject to agreement by Member States. “The adoption of the Benchmarks Regulation will help restore confidence in the integrity of benchmarks and enhance their robustness and reliability, hence strenghtening confidence in the financial markets and preventing new manipulation scandals”, said Pierre Gramegna, Minister of Finance of Luxembourg and President of the Ecofin Council.

    • Other meeting · News articles
    • Competitiveness, Economic and Financial Affairs

    On 24 November 2015, during the second day of the "Manufuture 2015" conference, entitled "Strategic Investments in European Manufacturing to Rise to Global Challenges", which was held in Luxembourg in the framework of the Luxembourg Presidency of the Council of the European Union (EU), European industry stakeholders and experts continued discussions on innovation in the manufacturing sector. In his opening address, Marc Hansen, Secretary of State for Higher Education and Research, declared that innovation through research helps to boost reindustrialisation.

    • Other meeting · Press releases
    • Economic and Financial Affairs
    EU 2016 budget approved by the Council

    On 24 November 2015, the Council by unanimity approved the 2016 EU budget deal agreed by the Conciliation Committee on 14 November. If the agreement is also confirmed by the European Parliament on 25 November the EU budget for 2016 is adopted. The 2016 EU budget provides for €155.00 billion in total commitments. This leaves a margin of €2.3 billion under the expenditure ceiling of the multiannual financial framework for 2014-2020, allowing the EU to react to unforeseen needs. The level of total payments is set at €143.89 billion. This is a 1.8% increase compared to the 2015 EU budget, taking into account the eight amending budgets.

    • Ministers in the European Parliament · News articles
    • Economic and Financial Affairs
    2016 EU budget – The European Parliament debates on the agreement reached with the Council on the eve of its final vote on the compromise

    The Minister for Finances and President of the Ecofin Council, Pierre Gramegna, attended the plenary session of the European Parliament in Strasbourg on 24 November 2015, to participate on behalf of the Council in the debate on the draft joint EU budget for 2016, following the deal reached between the two institutions in the Conciliation Committee on 14 November 2015. This compromise, negotiated in Brussels under the aegis of the Luxembourg Presidency, was formally adopted by the Council on 24 November 2015 by written procedure, and will be submitted for voting to the plenary session of the Parliament on 25 November. At the time of the debate, Pierre Gramegna commended "the very good result for all the institutions and, above all, for Europe", evoking "the unity, the solidarity et the efficacy of the European Union".

    • Other meeting · News articles
    • Competitiveness, Economic and Financial Affairs
    'Manufacture 2015' Conference- The importance of investing in innovation in the manufacturing sector at the centre of discussions

    In the context of the Luxembourg Presidency of the Council of the European Union (EU), the 'Manufacture 2015' Conference was held in Luxembourg on 23 and 24 November 2015. The main aim of this conference, which brought together actors and experts from European industry, was to identify and validate new political, financial and scientific instruments which could help strengthen and improve research and innovation in Europe. In their opening speech, the speakers stressed the importance of investing in the manufacturing sector. Francine Closener, Secretary of State for the Economy, pointed to innovation as the key to competitiveness in the European manufacturing industry.

    • Other meeting · News articles
    • Economic and Financial Affairs, Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs, Foreign Affairs
    High-level TTIP conference – Xavier Bettel calls for a comprehensive and qualitative agreement

    The Luxembourg Presidency of the Council of the EU, together with the European Parliament, the European Commission and the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC), held a conference in Brussels on 17 November 2015 entitled "TTIP - What's in it for the social partners?". The purpose of the conference, which brought together social partners from the 28 Member States for the first time, was to address different aspects of the negotiations on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) currently being discussed by the EU and the USA, and in respect of which a number of concerns have been put forward.

    • Council Meeting · Press releases
    • Economic and Financial Affairs
    Deal reached on 2016 EU budget

    On 14 November 2015, the Council and the European Parliament reached an agreement on the EU budget for 2016. Meeting in the Conciliation Committee they agreed to set the total level of commitments at €155.00 billion and of payments at €143.89 billion. "The budget agreed today is a concrete expression of solidarity both within the EU and with third countries", said Pierre Gramegna, minister for finance of Luxembourg and President of the Council. "It provides the EU with the financial means to boost growth, create jobs and tackle the migration crisis. And it keeps sufficient financial leeway to allow the EU to react to unforeseen needs and events."

    • Other meeting · News articles
    • Economic and Financial Affairs
    Conference on Stability, Economic Coordination and Governance in the European Union – Focus on Growth and the EMU by the fourth panel

    Under the Luxembourg Presidency of the Council of the European Union, on 9 and 10 November 2015, in Luxembourg, the Chamber of Deputies held an Interparliamentary Conference on Stability, Economic Coordination and Governance in the European Union, as provided for by Article 13 of the Treaty on Stability, Coordination and Governance (TSCG). Growth and the economic and monetary union (EMU) were the focus of the conference's fourth panel.

    • Council Meeting · News articles
    • Economic and Financial Affairs
    ECOFIN Council – Ministers agree on the bridge financing for the Single Resolution Fund within the context of a Banking Union

    European Union (EU) Economy and Finance Ministers met in Brussels on 10 November 2015 for the "Economic and Financial Affairs" (ECONFIN) Council, chaired by the Minister for Finance, Pierre Gramegna. During this meeting, the Council adopted conclusions on financing the fight against climate change, with a view to the climate conference in Paris, and also on the European Commission's action plan aimed at creating a Capital Markets Union. In the Banking Union dossier, ministers agreed on the bridge financing for the Single Resolution Fund, opening the way for the functioning of the fund from 1 January 2016.

    • Other meeting · News articles
    • Economic and Financial Affairs
    Conference on Stability, Economic Coordination and Governance in the European Union – Fair tax competition at the heart of the third round table

    Under the Luxembourg Presidency of the Council of the European Union, the Chamber of Deputies held an Interparliamentary Conference on Stability, Economic Coordination and Governance in the European Union on 9 and 10 November 2015 in Luxembourg. The third round table was devoted to fair tax competition within the European Union (UE), one year after the revelations of the LuxLeaks affair and as ministers agreed on the automatic exchange of tax rulings during the ECOFIN Council of 6 October 2015. According to Alain Lamassoure, Chairman of European Parliament's Special Committee on Tax Rulings and a participant in the conference, the golden rule is to tax profits where the activity is carried out.

    • Other meeting · Press releases
    • Economic and Financial Affairs
    EU budget 2016: Council calls on European Parliament to respect its commitments as conciliation talks start

    On 9 November 2015, the Conciliation Committee held its first meeting on the 2016 EU budget. The Committee mandated the Commission to prepare a draft joint text with the aim of reaching an agreement at the Committee's second meeting on 13 November. This first meeting of the Conciliation Committee also allowed the Council and the European Parliament to exchange views on their respective positions.

    • Other meeting · News articles
    • Economic and Financial Affairs
    Conference on Stability, Economic Coordination and Governance in the European Union – The Social Dimension of Economic Governance at the heart of the first panel

    Under the Luxembourg Presidency of the European Union, on 9 and 10 November 2015, in Luxembourg, the Chamber of Deputies organised an Interparliamentary Conference on Stability, Economic Corodination and Governance in the European Union, the organisation of which is provided for in Article 13 of the Treaty on Stability, Coordination and Governance (TSCG). The first discussion panel, devoted to the social dimension of economic governance, brought together the Minister for Labour, Employment and the Social and Solidarity Economy, Nicolas Schmit, the Director of the European Social Observatory, Bart Vanhercke, and the Sociologist, Louis Chauvel, Professor at the University of Luxembourg.

    • Other meeting · News articles
    • Economic and Financial Affairs
    Conference on Stability, Economic Coordination and Governance in the European Union – Debate on parliamentary scrutiny and the democratic deficit during the second panel

    Under the Luxembourg Presidency of the Council of the European Union, the Chamber of Deputies held an Interparliamentary Conference on Stability, Economic Coordination and Governance within the European Union in Luxembourg on 9 and 10 November 2015. The second panel focused on parliamentary scrutiny of European economic governance. In his opening speech, Alex Bodry, Vice-President of the Committee on Finance and Budget at the Luxembourg Chamber of Deputies, referred to a 'genuine democratic deficit'. Although economic governance has been boosted in response to the crisis, the new intergovernmental structure set up as a matter of urgency 'reduces flexibility' of national parliaments in terms of budget, he stated.

  • Updated 15-07-2015