European Union (EU) Ministers for Competitiveness met in Brussels on 30 November 2015 for the first part of a Competitiveness Council devoted to issues related to the internal market and industry, the last meeting of its kind under the Luxembourg Presidency. During the meeting chaired by Etienne Schneider, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for the Economy, European Ministers covered for the first time the new strategy for the internal market and also looked at the second competitiveness "check-up". The discussions also covered ways to take advantage of the new programme for better regulations to improve the functioning of the internal market, as well as recommendations for the creation of a system of national competitiveness boards in the Eurozone.
The representatives of national parliaments of EU Member States who met in Luxembourg on 30 November and 1 December 2015 for the 54th meeting of COSAC chose to close their first working day with a discussion on the strategy for a digital single market in Europe. On this occasion, the European Commissioner for the Digital Single Market and Commission Vice-President, Andrus Ansip, presented this initiative launched by the European Commission on 6 May 2015. The objective of the initiative is to break down regulatory barriers in the digital age and to transform the 28 national markets into a single online market. Following the speeches given by national MPs, the Commissioner welcomed a 'large consensus' with regard to the establishment of the digital single market in Europe.
Representatives of EU Member States' national parliaments met in Luxembourg for the 54th Conference of Parliamentary Committees for Union Affairs of Parliaments of the European Union (COSAC), which took place on 30 November and 1 December 2015. The debates focused on the European agenda on migration, the strategy for a digital market in Europe, and lastly, EU enlargement policy. For the first session devoted to the European agenda on migration, the debates specifically concentrated on common asylum policy and legal migration policy, as well as the fight against illegal migration and external borders security. During the debates, an overwhelming majority of speakers stressed the importance of solidarity between EU Member States to respond to challenges linked to the refugees crisis.
The "Trade" part of the Foreign Affairs Council chaired by the Minister for Foreign and European Affairs, Jean Asselborn, took place in Brussels on 27 November 2015. In the presence of the European Trade Commissioner, Cecilia Malmström, the Ministers focused on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) negotiations with the United States. They also discussed the preparations for the WTO Ministerial Conference, which will take place in Nairobi in December 2015, and they focused on the negotiations with Mercosur, Japan and the ASEAN countries with a view to concluding free trade agreements. The Ministers further adopted conclusions on the EU's trade and investment policy.
The Minister for Sustainable Development and Infrastructure, François Bausch, chairedthe informal meetings of EU Ministers for Regional Planning and Urban Policy in Luxembourg on 26 and 27 November 2015, in the context of the Luxembourg Presidency of the Council of the EU. The regional cohesion of Europe was a crucial point of discussion at the meetings. It means finding solutions to the very unequal development of European regions and cities over the past decades – a trend which has grown with the economic and financial crises, as François Bausch explained during the press conference that followed the meetings on 27 November 2015. In his view, one of the more glaring consequences of the loss of EU cohesion is the unequal response to the migration crises.
EU Energy Ministers met in Brussels on 26 November 2015 for a Transport, Telecommunications and Energy Council (TTE) devoted to energy issues. The meeting, chaired by Étienne Schneider, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for the Economy, resulted in the adoption of conclusions on Energy Union governance and a general approach to the proposal for a regulation establishing a framework for energy efficiency labelling. Ministers also held an orientation debate on a new energy market design.
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".
On 25 November 2015, Nicolas Schmit, the Minister responsible for relations with the European Parliament during the Luxembourg Presidency of the EU Council, addressed MEPs meeting in plenary session in Strasbourg in order to present the results of the Valletta Summit held on 11 and 12 November 2015 and the G20 Summit on 15 and 16 November 2015.
Nicolas Schmit, the Minister responsible for relations with the European Parliament during the Luxembourg Presidency of the Council of the EU, addressed the plenary session of the European Parliament in Strasbourg on 25 November 2015. He represented the Council at the debate on the Paris terrorist attacks of 13 November 2015, also attended by the European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker. In particular, the debate focused on current and future anti-terror measures, referring to the conclusions of the extraordinary JHA Council of 20 November 2015. 'We need deeper and more extensive European cooperation' Nicolas Schmit pledged his support to the victims of terrorism before the MEPs, and called for deeper and more extensive European cooperation.