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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.

    • 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 · 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
    • 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.

    • Council Meeting · Press releases
    • Economic and Financial Affairs

    In a statement adopted on 8 December 2015, ECOFIN Ministers reaffirm the importance of deepening the Banking Union in the context of a well-functioning Economic and Monetary Union. Following the successful establishment of the Single Supervisory Mechanism (SSM), they welcome the forthcoming entry into force of the intergovernmental agreement on the transfer and mutualisation of contributions to the SRF (IGA), which will allow the Single Resolution Fund (SRF) to be fully operational on 1 January 2016.

    • 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 · 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.

    • · Press releases
    • Economic and Financial Affairs
    Council reaches agreement on Securitisation package, first building block of the Capital Markets Union

    On 2 December 2015, after two months of intensive and constructive negotiations under Luxembourg Presidency, Member States agreed on the Securitisation package at the meeting of the Committee of Permanent Representatives. “These proposals aim to relaunch the securitisation market, by promoting simple, transparent and standardised securitisations. The objective is to contribute to the financing of the economy and hence to the creation of jobs and growth”, said Pierre Gramegna, Minister of Finance of Luxembourg and President of the ECOFIN Council.

    • 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.

  • Updated 15-07-2015