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"General Affairs" Council - Ministers discuss preparations for the European Council and the European Commission Agenda for 2016

Met dank overgenomen van Luxemburgs voorzitterschap Europese Unie 2e helft 2015 (EU2015LU), gepubliceerd op dinsdag 13 oktober 2015.

Jean Asselborn at the General Affairs Council in Luxembourg on 13 October 2015

(c) European Union

The EU Member State Ministers in charge for European affairs met in Luxembourg, on 13 October 2015, during the "General Affairs" Council (GAC), focused on preparations for the European Council on 15 and 16 October 2015.

On this occasion, the Ministers also looked at the European Commission agenda and noted the progress on an interinstitutional agreement on better regulation. The meeting was chaired by the Minister for Foreign and European Affairs, Jean Asselborn.

Preparations for the European Council

During their meeting, the European Ministers finalised preparations for the European Council on 15 and 16 October 2015 and examined the draft conclusions prepared for this meeting of Heads of State and government.

By way of reminder, the European Council will focus mainly on migration issues. The Heads of State and government will assess the progress made on the implementation of the policies approved during the extraordinary meeting of 23 September 2015 and they will talk about actions to be taken under the European Agenda on Migration. The European Council will also take note of the results of the High-Level Eastern Mediterranean - Western Balkans route conference".

"Responding to the issue of migration is a challenge, and there are no easy solutions", indicated Jean Asselborn at the end of the meeting, cited in a Council press release. "We all agree that the only way Europe can offer an effective response, in line with our fundamental values, is by offering a full and balanced set of measures. The discussions today have helped pave the way for the right decisions to be taken in the European Council later this week", he added.

European Commission Agenda for 2016

The Ministers also looked at the European Commission Agenda for 2016 in the context of the letter of intent on the priorities of the Commission addressed by its President, Jean-Claude Juncker, to the Presidency and to the European Parliament on 9 September 2015. In this regard, the Ministers took stock of the various positions expressed in the Council's preparatory bodies on the basis of a summary note by the Luxembourg Presidency. The Commission's annual agenda for 2016 should be adopted on 27 October 2015 by the institution.

Status of interinstitutional negotiations on better regulation

During the Council meeting, the Presidency also informed the ministers of the state of play on the negotiations of the interinstitutional agreement for better regulation. The purpose of the Commission proposal, which should replace the interinstitutional agreement on "better regulation" in force since 2003, is to secure agreement from the three institutions on how the EU should legislate. Specifically, the draft agreement covers scheduling and planning, the use of tools designed to improve regulation, as well as delegated acts and implementing acts.

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