On 29 October 2015, during the conference entitled "Individual taxation and employment" organised in Luxembourg by the Luxembourg Presidency of the Council of the EU, a number of European experts in the field of tax and social policy gave updated presentations on individual taxation and the degree of individualisation in Member States. They also studied the link between the degree of individualisation and its repercussions on the employment of women. Finally, they spoke about the characteristics of transition phases in order to determine the factors which create a tax environment that fosters gender equality.
On 29 October 2015, a Forum for exchanging ideas and best practices on SMEs and craft businesses was organised in the Chamber of Trade under the heading 'SME and Skilled Crafts in Europe' in the frame of the Luxembourg Presidency. The objective was to present the challenges and opportunities that SMEs face in terms of eco-innovation and digital transformation. During her presentation of the priorities of the Luxembourg Presidency, the Secretary of State for the Economy, Francine Closener, insisted on the need to reduce border crossing costs and to establish common regulations.
Some 150 experts from the field of diversity and representatives of business, public institutions, the media and NGOs from around the EU met in Luxembourg, 28 October 2015, to take part in the 6th EU Diversity Charters Annual Forum. Co-organised by the Luxembourg Presidency of the Council of the EU, the European Commission and the Diversity Charter Lëtzebuerg, the event, comprising various round tables and workshops, focused on the role played by the public sector and the media in this area.
On 29 October 2015, the Minister for Labour, Employment and the Social and Solidarity Economy, Nicolas Schmit, and the Minister for Equal Opportunities, Lydia Mutsch, took part in a conference on individual taxation and employment organised in the Grand Duchy as part of the Luxembourg Presidency of the Council of the European Union. In his introductory speech, Nicolas Schmit stressed the importance of a taxation system which fully takes into account the development of the role of women in society. Lydia Mutsch called for work to be remunered in such a way that it encourages both men and women to join the labour market, and called into question the legal taxation framework based on marriage and on the principle of a main breadwinner in terms of household income.
On 28 October 2015, the MEPs meeting in plenary session adopted several amendments to the position of the Council of the EU for the draft EU budget for 2016. "I have taken note of the differences between the budget as decided by the Council and the amendments passed by the European Parliament", declared Pierre Gramegna, Minister of Finances and President of the Ecofin Council, following the vote by MEPs. "I agree to the convening of the Conciliation Committee by the President of the European Parliament", added the Minister.
On 28 October 2015, the Minister for Labour, Employment and the Social and Solidarity Economy and President of the Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs Council (EPSCO), Nicolas Schmit, spoke on behalf of the Council of the EU at the plenary session of the European Parliament in Strasbourg. The Luxembourg minister had been asked to reply to an oral question by Thomas Händel MEP (GUE/NGL) on the Council recommendation on integrating the long-term unemployed into the labour market.
The Luxembourg Minister in charge of relations with the European Parliament throughout the Luxembourg Presidency of the Council of the EU, Nicolas Schmit, spoke on 28 October 2015 on behalf of the Council to MEPs at the plenary session of the European Parliament in Strasbourg to discuss the European semester. The European Parliament is about to vote on its report on the Semester and the implementation of priorities for 2015. Furthermore, the Commission has just made public (on 21 October) its package on strengthening Economic and Monetary Union (EMU), which contains a chapter dedicated to the renewed "European semester". The debate revealed numerous differing opinions.
The Luxembourg Minister in charge of relations with the European Parliament throughout the Luxembourg Presidency of the Council, Nicolas Schmit, spoke on 28 October 2015 on behalf of the Council to the plenary session of the European Parliament in Strasbourg to discuss the "Smart Borders" package . He was responding to an oral question from the British MEP Claude Moraes (S&D). In his response, Nicolas Schmit stated that the creation of a European entry/exit system is "a necessary step to preserve the Schengen area".
On 28 October 2015, Nicolas Schmit, the Minister responsible for relations with the European Parliament during the Luxembourg Presidency of the Council of the European Union (EU), addressed the plenary assembly in Strasbourg in reply to an oral question on the mass electronic surveillance of EU citizens. Nicolas Schmit reminded those present that the Council shared the European Parliament's concerns regarding the secret surveillance programmes and their impact on the private lives and personal data of EU citizens. The Minister stressed that while Member States must take steps to protect their citizens from terrorism and other attacks on their sovereignty, they must also protect fundamental rights.