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    • Council Meeting · Press releases
    • Economic and Financial Affairs
    Cross-border tax rulings - Transparency rules adopted

    On 8 December 2015, the Council adopted a directive aimed at improving transparency on tax rulings given by member states to companies in specific cases about how taxation will be dealt with. The directive is one of a number of initiatives aimed at preventing corporate tax avoidance. The new rules will be applied from 1 January 2017. In the meantime, existing obligations for member states to exchange information will stay in place.

    • Other meeting · Press releases
    • Transport, Telecommmunications and Energy
    First EU-wide rules to improve cybersecurity: deal with the European Parliament

    On 7 December 2015, the Luxembourg presidency of the Council reached an informal agreement with the European Parliament on common rules to strengthen network and information security (NIS) across the EU. Xavier Bettel, Luxembourg's Prime Minister and Minister for Communications and the Media, and President of the Council, said: "This is an important step towards a more coordinated approach in cybersecurity across Europe. All actors, public and private, will have to step up their efforts, in particular by increased cooperation between member states and enhanced security requirements for infrastructure operators and digital services".

    • Council Meeting · Press releases
    • Economic and Financial Affairs

    In a statement adopted on 8 December 2015, ECOFIN Ministers reaffirm the importance of deepening the Banking Union in the context of a well-functioning Economic and Monetary Union. Following the successful establishment of the Single Supervisory Mechanism (SSM), they welcome the forthcoming entry into force of the intergovernmental agreement on the transfer and mutualisation of contributions to the SRF (IGA), which will allow the Single Resolution Fund (SRF) to be fully operational on 1 January 2016.

    • Council Meeting · News articles
    • Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs
    EPSCO Council – Ministers for Equal Opportunities fail to agree on the directive on quotas for women on company boards

    EU Ministers for Labour, Social Policy Issues, Equal Opportunities and Health met in Brussels on 7 December 2015 for the last Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs (EPSCO) Council held under the Luxembourg Presidency. The part of the meeting devoted to equal opportunities was chaired by Lydia Mutsch, Minister for Health and Equal Opportunities, and Corinne Cahen, Minister for Family Affairs and Integration. The directive on quotas for women on company boards was a key focus of the Council. Ministers failed to adopt a general approach despite the fact that the Luxembourg Presidency had redrafted the text, making it more flexible.

    • Council Meeting · News articles
    • Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs
    EPSCO Council – Ministers for Health adopt conclusions on the EU strategy on the reduction of alcohol-related harm, personalised medicine, dementia and lessons learned from the Ebola outbreak

    The Ministers for Health of the Member States of the European Union (EU) met in Brussels on 7 December 2015 for the last "Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumers" (EPSCO) Council held under the Luxembourg Presidency. At the meeting, chaired by Lydia Mutsch, Minister for Health, the participants adopted conclusions on four issues: the EU strategy on the reduction of alcohol-related harm, personalised medicine for patients, dementia and lessons learned from the Ebola outbreak. Lydia Mutsch particularly welcomed the adoption of conclusions on personalised medicine and dementia, two subjects which are major priorities for the Luxembourg Presidency on public health.

    • Other meeting · News articles
    • Environment
    COP21 ─ Faced with reluctant parties, Carole Dieschbourg and Miguel Arias Cañete point out that ambitious climate objectives foster economic development

    Five days before the end of negotiations at COP21, the Minister for the Environment, Carole Dieschbourg, who is representing the Luxembourg Presidency of the Council of the EU, and the European Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy, Miguel Arias Cañete, spoke to the press at a joint conference in Paris on 7 December 2015 to give an update now that the Ministers for the Environment of the 196 parties have taken over as technical negotiators for the second and final week of discussions.

    • Other meeting · News articles
    • Foreign Affairs, Justice and Home Affairs
    EU - Western Balkans JHA Ministerial Forum – Jean Asselborn welcomes the cooperation on the refugee crisis, but calls for efforts to limit asylum requests in the EU from people coming from the Balkan countries

    The Ministers for Justice and Home Affairs of the Member States of the European Union (EU) and of Western Balkan countries met in Sarajevo on 7 and 8 December 2015 to participate in the annual EU - Western Balkan Ministerial Forum on 'Justice and Home Affairs' (JHA), which this year was dedicated to issues of migration, asylum, security, the fight against terrorism and judicial cooperation.

    • Council Meeting · News articles
    • Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs
    'Employment and social policy' session of the EPSCO Council – debate focused on promoting the social economy, the European Semester 2016 and the integration of the long-term unemployed into the labour market

    EU Ministers for Employment, Social Policy Issues, Equal Opportunities and Health met in Brussels on 7 December 2015 for the last Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs (EPSCO) Council held under the Luxembourg Presidency. The session on employment and social policy was co-chaired by Nicolas Schmit, Minister for Labour, Employment and the Social and Solidarity Economy, and Romain Schneider, Minister for Social Security. The Council adopted conclusions on social governance for an inclusive Europe. 'We have embarked on the re-balancing of governance that fully incorporates the social policy dimension', said Nicolas Schmit. 'We are not about to develop an additional approach, but rather to take the existing instruments and try to make the best possible use of them', clarified Romain Schneider. Nicolas Schmit considered that deepening the integration of economic and monetary union must be achieved through better addressing issues relating to social protection and employment.

    • Council Meeting · Press releases
    • Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs

    The Minister for Labour, Employment and the Social and Solidarity Economy, Nicolas Schmit, the Minister for Social Security, Romain Schneider, the Minister for Equal Opportunities and Health, Lydia Mutsch, and the Minister for Family Affairs, Integration and the Greater Region, Corinne Cahen, in turn will chair the 'Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs' (EPSCO) Council to be held in Brussels on 7 December 2015.

    • Other meeting · Press releases
    • Environment
    Climate Conference COP21: political negotiations are starting

    After the strong statements made by the 150 Heads of States and Government meeting on 30 November, the first week has been devoted to technical negotiations. The aim of the negotiations was to present policy makers with a text containing as few options as possible. From Monday, environment ministers will take up the baton, working to resolve the outstanding issues in the negotiation agreement.

    • Other meeting · News articles
    • Environment
    COP21 - Carole Dieschbourg and Miguel Arias Cañete review the draft agreement adopted by 196 parties one week before the end of the conference

    One week after the start of negotiations as part of COP21, the Minister for the Environment, Carole Dieschbourg, who is representing the Luxembourg Presidency of the Council of the EU, and the European Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy, Miguel Arias Cañete, gave a joint press conference on 5 December 2015 in Paris to outline the EU perspective on the situation, soon after negotiators from the 196 parties had adopted a draft of the world agreement to keep global warming below 2°C.

    • Council Meeting · News articles
    • Justice and Home Affairs
    JHA Council – Jean Asselborn believes it is high time to get the relocation mechanism off the ground

    EU Home Affairs ministers met in Brussels on 4 December 2015 for the third part of the Justice and Home Affairs (JHA) Council, mainly dedicated to the EU migration and refugee crisis. During this part of the Council meeting chaired by Jean Asselborn, Minister for Immigration and Asylum, the participants were informed of the situation on the ground as well as the progress being made on the implementation of the latest measures taken by the EU. They also debated the action required to strengthen the Schengen area with the temporary reintroduction of internal border controls by a number of Member States.

    • Other meeting · News articles
    • Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs
    Nicolas Schmit has presented the Luxembourg Declaration on the Social and Solidarity Economy in Europe, signed by six Member-States

    On 4 December 2015, Nicolas Schmit, Minister for Labour, Employment and the Social and Solidarity Economy, presented the Luxembourg Declaration on the Social and Solidarity Economy in Europe, adopted by Luxembourg, France, Italy, Spain, the Slovak Republic and Slovenia at the "Boosting Social Enterprises in Europe" conference. In the Declaration, the group calls for stepping up support for social economy enterprises and giving particular importance to "developing an adequate financial ecosystem". Nicolas Schmit stressed the need to make the social economy "an important part" of EU social policy. "We invite the Commission to further include the idea of social innovation and social investments linked to the social economy in the context of the review of 2020 Strategy".

    • Council Meeting · Press releases
    • Justice and Home Affairs
    EU Passenger Name Record (PNR) directive - Council confirms agreement found with EP

    On 4 December 2015 the Council approved the compromise text agreed with the European Parliament on the proposal for a directive on the use of passenger name record (PNR) data for the prevention, detection, investigation and prosecution of terrorist offences and serious crime. “The compromise agreed today will enable the EU to set up an effective PNR system which fully respects fundamental rights and freedoms”, said Etienne Schneider, Luxembourg Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Internal Security and President of the Council.

    • Council Meeting · News articles
    • Justice and Home Affairs
    JHA Council – Ministers responsible for internal security confirm the agreement reached with the European Parliament on the proposal for a PNR directive

    The second part of the 'Justice and Home Affairs' (JHA) Council devoted to internal security was held on 4 December 2015 in Brussels in the presence of ministers from the European Union (EU) Member States in charge of this competence. The meeting, chaired by Etienne Schneider, Minister for Internal Security, was an opportunity for the participants to adopt the compromise text agreed with the European Parliament on the proposal for a PNR directive. At the meeting, ministers also approved the agreement reached with the European Parliament on the Europol regulation, and discussed the renewed European Union Internal Security Strategy 2015-2020 and measures taken to combat terrorism.

    • Council Meeting · Press releases
    • Justice and Home Affairs
    Updated rules for Europol - Council confirms the agreement found with European Parliament

    On 4 December 2015 the Council approved the compromise text agreed with the European Parliament on a draft regulation on the European Agency for Law Enforcement Cooperation and Training (Europol), which paves the way for the formal adoption of the regulation by the co-legislators in the coming months. Etienne Schneider, Luxembourg Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Internal Security and President of the Council said: "The finalisation of the Europol regulation was a high priority of our Presidency. Our priority was to give a solid legal basis to Europol enabling it to maximize its potential at the service of the member states, and this in full respect of the competences of all the actors involved. This is done today. I am fully satisfied with the result, which is an important step to strengthen police cooperation in Europe".

    • Other meeting · Press releases
    • Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs

    In the framework of the Presidency Conference "Boosting Social Enterprises in Europe", held in Luxembourg on 3rd and 4th December 2015, the representatives of the Governments of France, Italy, Luxembourg, Slovak Republic, Slovenia and Spain adopted a declaration with the title "A roadmap towards a more comprehensive ecosystem for social economy entreprises".

  • Updated 15-07-2015