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    • Other meeting · Press releases
    • General Affairs
    Luxembourg presents the achievements of its Presidency of the Council of the European Union

    With the 12th Luxembourg Presidency of the Council of the EU finished on 31 December 2015, a report of the main results achieved over the past six months was published on 19 January 2016. The Luxembourg Presidency worked, in keeping with its traditions and convictions, to put European citizens at the heart of its initiatives, while ensuring that the real, direct interests of citizens are better taken account of in all EU policies.

    • Other meeting · Press releases
    • Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs
    Mission accomplished by the Luxembourg Presidency in the area of public health

    The Minister of Health, Lydia Mutsch, provided a positive general assessment of the Luxembourg Presidency of the Council of the EU and of the work carried out over the past six months in the area of public health. Real progress was made on several major issues relating to the health of our citizens, such as in areas of the reduction of alcohol-related harm due to excessive consumption of alcohol; access to personalised medical care; dementia; the fight against drugs; quality of medical devices; protection against ionising radiation; as well as food safety. In all these areas, the Presidency continuously sought to tackle these problems in line with its motto, meaning placing the full focus of the measures on the patient and on innovation. The majority of the efforts were endorsed by the Council and the Ministers for Health of the Member States on 7 December 2015.

    • Ministers in the European Parliament · News articles
    • Justice and Home Affairs
    Etienne Schneider presented the achievements of the Luxembourg Presidency in the field of internal security to the LIBE Committee of the European Parliament

    The Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Internal Security, Etienne Schneider, presented the achievements of the Luxembourg Presidency of the Council of the European Union in the field of internal security to the LIBE Committee of the European Parliament on 21 December 2015. Counter-terrorism has dominated these achievements. According to him, "substantial progress" was made on the following issues: implementing the renewed internal security strategy for the period 2015-2020, the new Europol regulations and the PNR Directive, the fight against foreign terrorist fighters and combating illicit trafficking of firearms.

    • Other meeting · News articles
    • General Affairs
    EU-Switzerland Meeting – Jean Asselborn seeks to 'find common ground between the outcome of the popular vote and the European principles of free movement and non-discrimination'

    Luxembourg's Minister for Foreign and European Affairs and Minister for Immigration and Asylum, Jean Asselborn, representing the Luxembourg Presidency of the Council of the European Union (EU) attended the informal meeting, together with the President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, and the President of the Swiss Confederation, Simonetta Sommaruga, in Brussels on 21 December 2015. The meeting was held in the context of consultations undertaken by President Jean-Claude Juncker and President Simonetta Sommaruga following a popular vote on 9 February 2014. During the press conference which followed the meeting, the two parties stated that they had failed to reach an agreement on amendments to be made to the rules on the free movement of persons as desired by Bern, although 'some progress' had been made. A new EU-Switzerland meeting has been scheduled for the end of February.

    • Ministers in the European Parliament · News articles
    • Justice and Home Affairs
    Before the LIBE Committee of the European Parliament, Jean Asselborn gave an overview of the Luxembourg Presidency within the context of the migration and refugee crisis

    Jean Asselborn, Luxembourg's Minister for Foreign and European Affairs, visited Brussels on 21 December 2015 to give an overview of the Luxembourg Presidency before the European Parliament's Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE) Committee. Before MEPs, the Minister reviewed the work carried out in the field of migration policy and in respect of launching political dialogue with regard to the rule of law.

    • Ministers in the European Parliament · News articles
    • Justice and Home Affairs
    Félix Braz presented the achievements of the Luxembourg Presidency in the field of Justice and Data Protection to the LIBE Committee of the European Parliament

    On 21 December 2015, Félix Braz, the Luxembourg Minister of Justice, travelled to Brussels for the purpose of reporting on the achievements of the Luxembourg Presidency of the Council of the EU before the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE) of the European Parliament, alongside Etienne Schneider, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Internal Security, and Jean Asselborn, Minister of Foreign and European Affairs and Minister of Immigration and Asylum. He presented the achievements of the Presidency in the field of Justice and Protection of Personal Data, specifically regarding the agreement reached on the regulation and the directive relating to the protection of personal data and regarding the agreements reached on procedural guarantees in criminal law matters. The Minister likewise pointed to the creation of a European Public Prosecutor's Office, the contribution of Justice in combatting terrorism and radicalisation, as well as judicial cooperation in the context of the migration crisis.

    • Other meeting · Press releases
    • General Affairs
    Jean Asselborn chaired the intergovernmental conference between the European Union and Montenegro

    The Luxembourg Minister for Foreign and European Affairs, Jean Asselborn, chaired the seventh intergovernmental conference held between the European Union and Montenegro in Brussels on 21 December 2015. The seventh intergovernmental conference held between the European Union and Montenegro has opened two Chapters in the accession negotiations, specifically Chapiter 14, "Transport policy" and 15 "Energy". Jean Asselborn outlined that "with the two chapters opened today, we have a total of 22 out of 35 negotiations chapters open. This makes Montenegro the country that is currently the most advanced in its negotiations with the European Union, and sets a positive example for the entire region".

    • Other meeting · Press releases
    • Justice and Home Affairs
    EU data protection reform: Council confirms agreement with the European Parliament

    On 18 December 2015, the Permanent Representatives Committee (Coreper) confirmed the compromise texts agreed with the European Parliament on data protection reform. The agreement was reached between the Council, Parliament and Commission on the 15 December. This agreement is in line with the request from the European Council for negotiations on data protection reform to be concluded by the end of 2015. Félix Braz, Luxembourg Minister of Justice and President of the Council said: "It is a fundamental agreement with important consequences. This reform not only strengthens the rights of citizens, but also adapts the rules to the digital age for companies, whilst reducing the administrative burden. These are ambitious and forward-looking texts. We can have full confidence in the result."

    • Other meeting · Press releases
    • Agriculture and Fisheries

    On 18 December 2015, under the Luxembourg Presidency and subject to the European Parliament and Council formal vote, the Coreper (Permanent Representatives Committee) approved a final package on plant health. The Council and European Parliament representatives finalised the overall compromise during a trilogue meeting held on 16 December.

    • Other meeting · News articles
    • General Affairs
    Xavier Bettel presented a preliminary review of the Luxembourg Presidency of the Council of the EU at the closing of the European Council

    At the press conference following the European Council of 17 and 18 December 2015, Luxembourg's Prime Minister, Xavier Bettel, together with the President of the European Council, Donald Tusk, and the President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, presented a "preliminary review" of the Luxembourg Presidency of the Council of the EU. The Luxembourg Presidency has been marked by "a tragic and unprecedented worsening" of the refugee crisis and the tragic terrorist attacks in Paris on 13 November 2015, stated Xavier Bettel who believes that Luxembourg has acted as a mediator to find common solutions. He welcomed the number of significant agreements reached within the Council and with the European Parliament, such as the proposed Passenger Name Record (PNR) Directive.

    • Other meeting · Press releases
    • Agriculture and Fisheries

    On 18 December 2015, under the Luxembourg Presidency and subject to the European Parliament and Council formal adoption, the Coreper (Permanent Representatives Committee) approved a final compromise on the draft "Animal Breeding Regulation". The European Parliament and the Council representatives identified the compromise package during a trilogue meeting held on 16 December.

    • · Press releases
    • Transport, Telecommmunications and Energy

    On 18 December 2015, the Permanent Representatives Committee (Coreper) endorsed an informal deal struck with the European Parliament on the first rules to strengthen the security of network and information systems across the EU. The network and information security (NIS) directive will increase cooperation between member states and lay down security obligations for operators of essential services and digital service providers.

    • Other meeting · Press releases
    • General Affairs
    Luxembourg presents the preliminary achievements of its Presidency of the Council of the European Union

    With the 12th Luxembourg Presidency of the Council of the EU drawing to a close, a preliminary report of the main results achieved over the past six months was published on 18 December 2015. The Luxembourg Presidency worked, in keeping with its traditions and convictions, to put European citizens at the heart of its initiatives, while ensuring that the real, direct interests of citizens are better taken account of in all EU policies.

    • 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'.

    • Ministers in the European Parliament · News articles
    • Justice and Home Affairs
    Nicolas Schmit speaks on behalf of the Council with regard to the detention of asylum seekers before a European Parliament concerned with the respect of fundamental rights of migrants and refugees

    On 16 December 2015, Nicolas Schmit, the Minister responsible for relations with the European Parliament, spoke on behalf of the Council before MEPs meeting in plenary session for a debate on the detention and use of force with regard to asylum seekers. Nicolas Schmit explained that detention measures may only be taken in exceptional circumstances and must be non-arbitrary, since a migrant is entitled, like any other person, to the right to liberty on the basis of international and European law.

    • 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.

    • Ministers in the European Parliament · News articles
    • General Affairs
    Nicolas Schmit presents to the European Parliament the European Council's agenda for December, which will be dominated by migration and security

    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 16 December 2015. Speaking on behalf of the Council and opening the debate on preparations for the European Council meeting to be held on 17 and 18 December 2015, he stated that it 'will tackle issues that are key for Europe'.

    • · Press releases
    • Justice and Home Affairs
    Procedural safeguards for children in criminal proceedings - Council confirms deal with European Parliament

    On 16 December 2015, the Permanent Representatives Committee (Coreper) approved a compromise text agreed with the European Parliament on a directive on procedural safeguards for children in criminal proceedings. Félix Braz, Luxembourg Minister for Justice and President of the Council said: "The agreement reached with the European Parliament is an important step forward for the European judicial area. This is the first binding instrument in this area and is a real breakthrough, particularly as regards the assistance of children by a lawyer. The new directive will contribute to enhancing mutual trust between the judicial systems of the Union."

  • Updated 15-07-2015