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    • Third Country Meeting · News articles
    • General Affairs
    The 2nd Accession Conference with Serbia at Ministerial level chaired by Jean Asselborn opened the first two negotiation chapters on financial control and the normalisation of relations with Kosovo

    On behalf of the Luxembourg Presidency of the Council of the European Union, on 14 December 2015, Jean Asselborn, the Luxembourg Minister of Foreign and European Affairs, chaired the 2nd Accession Conference with Serbia at Ministerial level, which was held on the sidelines of the General Affairs Council (GAC). During this meeting, the first two negotiation chapters - one concerning financial control, the other on the normalisation of relations with Kosovo - were opened with a view to Serbia's accession to the EU.

    • Other meeting · Press releases
    • Environment
    COP21- An ambitious and credible agreement; a roadmap for a better world

    On 12 December 2015, an agreement was reached at COP21 which, from 2020, sets a new universal, legally binding action plan to limit global warming. "This agreement combines concrete action with solidarity and transparency. It is a credible and ambitious agreement, ensuring sustainable development. The agreement is not perfect, we were hoping for an even more ambitious agreement, but it is the result of laborious negotiations and, above all, it has been approved by all the countries. The climate change conference is the culmination of years of efforts, but it is also only the start of the process. We must build on the commitment of our citizens and the economic world to continue to strengthen our ambition and ensure that this agreement is a roadmap for a better world", declared Carole Dieschbourg, Luxembourg's Minister for Environment and President of the EU Environment Council.

    • 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).

    • Council Meeting · Press releases
    • Transport, Telecommmunications and Energy

    On 10 December, François Bausch, the Minister for Sustainable Development and Infrastructure, will chair the 'Transport' Council in Brussels. The Council will hold a policy debate on social aspects of road transport. The Luxembourg Presidency want to canvass the point of view of Member States on current legislation and on the best means of ensuring that it is interpreted harmoniously and applied across the board. The Commission intends to present new initiatives in 2016. During their working lunch, the ministers will discuss the issue of road safety. In the afternoon, the Council should adopt its position at the first reading on the three pieces of legislation that form the technical pillar of the fourth railway package. Furthermore, the Commission will present the air transport package called 'An Air Strategy for Europe' and report on the latest state-of-play for work concerning transport safety.

    • Informal Ministerial Meeting · News articles
    • Development
    Informal meeting of Ministers for Development Cooperation – Ministers stress the importance of development for world stability

    European Union (EU) Member State Ministers in charge of Development Cooperation met in Luxembourg on 9 and 10 December 2015 for an informal meeting marked by the closing of the European Year for Development 2015 (EYD). The negotiations underway at the Paris Climate Change Conference (COP 21), the Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development, as well as a discussion with NGOs were on the agenda of this meeting chaired by the Minister for Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Affairs, Romain Schneider.

    • Council Meeting · Press releases
    • Transport, Telecommmunications and Energy

    On 10 December 2015, the Council adopted its position at first reading on directives on railway safety and interoperability, and a regulation on the European Railway Agency (ERA). Together, these legislative acts make up the technical pillar of the fourth railway package. To conclude the procedure, they still need to be formally approved by the European Parliament at second reading.

    • Other meeting · News articles
    • Economic and Financial Affairs
    Conference 'Financing the Circular Economy' - How to smooth the transition towards the Circular Economy

    As part of the Luxembourg Presidency of the Council of the European Union (EU), the European Commission and the European Investment Bank (EIB) organised a conference in Luxembourg on 10 December 2015, entitled 'Financing the Circular Economy'. The purpose of this meeting was to involve the European financial sector in the Circular Economy, which is essential for EU Member States if they wish to combat commodity shortages and resulting price fluctuations and the destruction of the natural environment. Following words of welcome from Prime Minister, Xavier Bettel, and from the President of the European Investment Bank, Werner Hoyer, the European Commissioner heading the Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Karmenu Vella, presented the 'Circular Economy' package adopted by the European Commission the previous week, on 2 December 2015.

    • Council Meeting · News articles
    • Transport, Telecommmunications and Energy
    TTE Transport Council – Ministers discussed social aspects of road transport

    European Union (EU) Ministers for Transport met in Brussels on 10 December 2015 to discuss the Transport section of the Transport, Telecommunications and Energy Council (TTE). The Council was chaired by François Bausch, the Luxembourg Minister for Sustainable Development and Infrastructure. Ministers for Transport held a policy debate on the social aspects of road transport. During a working lunch, Ministers addressed issues related to road safety. The Council adopted at first reading its position on the three legislative acts that make up the technical pillar of the fourth railway package.

    • Other meeting · News articles
    • Development
    Closing Ceremony of the European Year of Development - Xavier Bettel calls on the EU to step up its commitment to development

    The Prime Minister, Xavier Bettel, and the Minister for Cooperation and Humanitarian Action, Romain Schneider, took part, in the presence of Henri, Grand Duke of Luxembourg, in the closing ceremony of the European Year of Development 2015 (EYD) which took place in the capital of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg on 9 December, on the sidelines of the informal meeting of Ministers for Development Cooperation. It was an opportunity to take stock and celebrate the achievements of the European Year of Development 2015 at EU level and in particular at Member States level, and highlighting the involvement of the many EU citizens throughout the year.

    • · Press releases
    • Economic and Financial Affairs
    Manipulation of market benchmarks - Council confirms agreement with European Parliament on tougher rules

    On 9 December 2015, the Permanent Representatives Committee approved, on behalf of the Council, a compromise agreed with the European Parliament on new rules aimed at ensuring greater accuracy and integrity of benchmarks in financial instruments. "The adoption of this regulation will help restore trust in the integrity of benchmarks and enhance their robustness and reliability, thereby strengthening confidence in the financial markets and preventing new manipulation scandals," said Pierre Gramegna, minister for finance of Luxembourg and president of the Council. The agreement with the Parliament was reached during a trilogue meeting in Strasbourg on 24 November 2015.

    • Other meeting · News articles
    • Competitiveness, Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs
    Nicolas Schmit presented the review of the Luxembourg Presidency to the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC)

    On 9 December 2015, Luxembourg's Minister for Labour, Employment and the Social and Solidarity Economy, Nicolas Schmit, appeared before the European Economic and Social Committee meeting in plenary session to present the review of the Luxembourg Presidency of the Council of the EU, which will end on 31 December 2015. Nicolas Schmit recalled the major challenges that the Luxembourg Presidency has faced, in particular 'unprecedented' migratory pressure and the fight against terrorism. Both are challenges which he believes require a united response from the EU, but which he regrets has not always been present.

    • Council Meeting · News articles
    • Economic and Financial Affairs
    ECOFIN Council – Taxation, the banking union and the financial transaction tax on the Ministers' agenda

    European Union (EU) Economy and Finance Ministers met in Brussels on 8 December 2015 for the 'Economic and Financial Affairs' (ECOFIN) Council, chaired by the Minister for Finance, Pierre Gramegna. The agenda of the meeting was largely devoted to taxation, with the adoption of conclusions on the future of a code of conduct on business taxation and on tax base erosion and profit shifting (BEPS). The Council also discussed the progress on international aspects of a proposed common consolidated corporate tax base. In addition, Ministers addressed the state of play of banking union legislation and the European Commission's proposal for a regulation establishing a European deposit guarantee scheme.

    • Council Meeting · Press releases
    • Economic and Financial Affairs
    EU-San Marino taxation agreement signed in joint effort to improve tax compliance

    On 8 December 2015, the European Union and San Marino signed an agreement aimed at improving tax compliance by private savers. The agreement will contribute to efforts to clamp down on tax evasion, by requiring the EU member states and San Marino to exchange information automatically. This will allow their tax administrations improved cross-border access to information on the financial accounts of each other's residents. "The sharing of information between national tax authorities remains one of the fundamental elements of an effective fight against tax fraud and tax evasion", said Pierre Gramegna, Minister for Finance of Luxembourg and president of the Council. "The EU is undoubtedly a leader in this field."

    • Council Meeting · Press releases
    • Economic and Financial Affairs

    On 8 December 2015, the Council approved the conclusion of agreements with Liechtenstein and Switzerland aimed at improving tax compliance by private savers. The two agreements will contribute to efforts to clamp down on tax evasion, by requiring the EU member states and the two countries to exchange information automatically. This will allow their tax administrations improved cross-border access to information on the financial accounts of each other's residents.

    • Other meeting · News articles
    • Justice and Home Affairs, Territorial Cooperation
    ESPON Seminar – Experts have addressed the territorial aspects of refugee migration to Europe

    On 8 and 9 December 2015 within the framework of the Luxembourg Presidency of the Council of the EU, the Luxembourg-based ESPON cooperation programme organised a seminar dedicated to the territorial aspects of refugee migration, cross-border cooperation and the strategy for macro-regions. The seminar, entitled 'A world without borders' - Refugees, Cooperation and Territories', brought together in the Grand Duchy policy-makers, stakeholders, scientists and experts. It was also an opportunity to present the proposed changes for the implementation of the ESPON 2020 programme.

  • Updated 15-07-2015