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). On behalf of the Luxembourg Presidency, Jean Asselborn will inform his colleagues of the outcome of discussions within the Council on the subject of the proposals laid out in the aforementioned report. 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"). After three months of intense negotiation by the Luxembourg Presidency, the Council will examine the draft text agreed by negotiators from the three institutions. This will be addressed in the presence of Nicolas Schmit, the Minister in charge of relations with the European Parliament and the Council's lead negotiator. Once formally adopted, this agreement will formalise the conditions for better interinstitutional cooperation over the coming years and will ensure quality legislation within a transparent and effective legislative process.
The Commission will then present its annual growth survey for 2016, which marks the launch of the European Semester. This is the annual cycle of economic governance in the EU which sets out its general economic and social priorities.
The Ministers will then have the opportunity for their annual debate on enlargement and the stabilisation and association process based on the draft conclusions prepared by the Luxembourg Presidency. Under the Luxembourg Presidency, new negotiation chapters will be opened with Turkey and Montenegro, while the very first chapters will be opened with Serbia.
Lastly, the GAC will endorse the presentation of the Council's working programme for the next 18 months, drawn up by the trio of successive presidencies, Netherlands, Slovakia and Malta, in close collaboration with the Commission and the President of the European Council.
Press release from the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs