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    • Council Meeting · Press releases
    • Environment
    National emissions of air pollutants - Council agrees its position on new limits

    On 16 December 2015 the Council agreed on a general approach for the proposed directive to reduce national emissions of certain pollutants (the so called new NEC Directive). This agreement, reached during the Environment Council meeting, will serve as a basis for negotiations with the European Parliament on this file. The President of the Environment Council, Luxembourg Minister Carole Dieschbourg, commented: “Air pollution affects the health of all citizens. Urgent action is needed to improve the air quality in Europe. After difficult discussions, we achieved a balanced compromise today, which gets the support of many member states and is still ambitious. We should strive towards an outcome, which respects the ambition level of the directive and the spirit of the Paris Climate Agreement".

    • Council Meeting · News articles
    • Environnement
    Environment Council – Ministers adopt conclusions on the mid-term review of the biodiversity strategy and a general approach on the reduction of emissions of air pollutants

    The Ministers for the Environment of the European Union (EU) met on 16 December 2015 in Brussels for a Council meeting chaired by Carole Dieschbourg, Luxembourg's Minister for the Environment. The Ministers adopted conclusions on the mid-term review of the EU biodiversity strategy to 2020. During the press conference after the Council meeting, Carole Dieschbourg welcomed the response given by the Ministers for the Environment to the petition launched by 500 000 citizens 'for ambitious biodiversity policies and against the watering down of the EU directives on nature'. The Ministers also adopted a general approach for the directive on the reduction of national emissions of certain pollutants (NEC Directive) by a large majority. The Minister for the Environment declared that 'after difficult discussions, we achieved a balanced compromise, which is supported by many Member States and is still ambitious', noting 'a step in the right direction'.

    • Council Meeting · Press releases
    • Agriculture and Fisheries

    On 16 December 2015, under the Luxembourg Presidency and subject to the European Parliament and Council formal vote, the Special Committee on Agriculture (SCA) approved a final compromise on a proposal for regulation on school milk, fruit and vegetables scheme. The Council and the European Parliament representatives identified the overall compromise during a trilogue meeting held on 10 December. On the same occasion the SCA approved a Council Regulation on the same subject, which completes the school scheme, notably as regards the fixing of the EU aid.

    • 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.

    • 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.

    • 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).

    • Council Meeting · News articles
    • Agriculture and Fisheries
    Agriculture and Fisheries Council – Agreement on fishing quotas for 2016 in the Atlantic and the North Sea and fishing opportunities applicable to the Black Sea

    The EU's Fisheries Ministers met in Brussels on 14 and 15 December 2015 for the "Fisheries" part of the last Agriculture and Fisheries Council chaired by Fernand Etgen, Luxembourg Minister for Agriculture. The Ministers agreed on the allowable catches for 2016 in the Atlantic and the North Sea and adopted a political agreement on fishing opportunities and quotas for next year in the waters of the Black Sea. Fernand Etgen hailed a "strong and fair agreement" at the press conference held after the Council meeting. He added that "the agreement drawn up by the Luxembourg Presidency, in cooperation with the European Commission, is important both for the sustainability of stocks and the fisheries economy in the countries concerned", stressing that it is a compromise in line with the aim of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP): fishing within the maximum sustainable yield.

    • Council Meeting · News articles
    • Agriculture and Fisheries
    Agriculture Council – Sustainable agriculture, school fruit, vegetables and milk schemes and the difficulties in the pig meat sector on ministers' agendas

    The EU's Agriculture Ministers met in Brussels on 14 December 2015 for the last Agriculture and Fisheries Council organised under the Luxembourg Presidency. Chaired by Fernand Etgen, the Luxembourg Minister of Agriculture, the Council discussed sustainable agriculture, forestry and fisheries in the bio-economy. The Presidency also informed the Council about the progress of work regarding the proposals for school fruit and vegetables, bananas and milk schemes. Finally, Ministers considered the deteriorating situation in the pork sector.

    • Council Meeting · News articles
    • Transport, Telecommmunications and Energy
    TTE Telecommunications Council – EU regulations on telecommunications, network and information security and web accessibility at the heart of the discussions

    European Ministers for Telecommunications met in Brussels on 11 December 2015 to discuss telecommunications at the Transport, Telecommunications and Energy Council (TTE). The Council, chaired by Xavier Bettel, Luxembourg Prime Minister and Minister for Communications and Media, focused on the EU review of telecommunications, network and information security and web accessibility. The European Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society, Günther Oettinger, also informed the Ministers about ongoing negotiations relating to the telecommunications / Information Society in the framework of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP).

  • Updated 15-07-2015