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Author: EU Council

23 cities offer to host UK-based EU agencies

The Council has received 27 proposals by the member states, related to 23 cities, to host  the EU agencies currently based in the UK. There have been 19 offers to host the European Medicines Agency (EMA) and 8 for the European Banking Authority (EBA). All offers are available on the website of the European Council. The two agencies will need to be relocated in the context of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU. The future locations need to be decided by common agreement of the EU27 member states. On 22 June 2017, in the margins of the European Council (Article...

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Joint statement following the EU-Egypt Association Council

Joint statement by Federica Mogherini, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Sameh Shoukry, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Egypt following the 7th session of the EU-Egypt Association Council After seven years since the Sixth session of the Association Council (AC) of the European Union and the Arab Republic of Egypt, the seventh session took place in Brussels on 25 July 2017. Both sides took this decision in recognition of the great importance of their partnership in addressing their political, economic social, security and cultural interests and in confronting their common challenges in the region.  The seventh...

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Improving air quality: EU acceptance of the Gothenburg Protocol amendment in sight

On 17 July, the Council adopted a decision[1] accepting on behalf of the European Union an amendment to the 1999 Gothenburg Protocol to reduce emissions of air pollutants globally. The EU is now ready to formally accept the amendment.  The amendment strengthens the provisions set out in the original text of the protocol and its annexes with the aim of enhancing in the long term the protection of human health and the environment from transboundary air pollution.  “Each year, 700 thousand people die in Europe due to air pollution. It affects us all regardless of borders. With the revised...

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Council agrees its position for the 2018 EU budget and backs increase of 2017 EU budget

On 12 July 2017, the EU ambassadors agreed the Council’s position on the 2018 EU draft budget, ahead of the negotiations with the European Parliament starting in October.  The Council’s position for 2018 amounts to €158.9 billion in commitments and €144.4 billion in payments, up by 0.6% and 7.4% respectively compared to the 2017 EU budget. Payments increase significantly because the implementation of the 2014-2020 programmes is expected to reach cruising speed following the initial start-up period. The Council’s position strongly focuses on measures to stimulate jobs and growth, strengthen security and tackle migration. It also keeps sufficient margins under the...

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Carcinogens or mutagens at work: Council sets new exposure limits

On 11 July 2017, the Council’s Permanent Representatives Committee approved the provisional agreement reached with the European Parliament on 28 June on the directive protecting workers from exposure to carcinogens or mutagens in the workplace.  By setting limits for carcinogens and mutagens this agreement helps tackle the primary cause of work-related deaths in the EU. The aim is to help save up to 100 000 lives over the next 50 years.  The directive proposes to set exposure limits for a further 11 carcinogens in addition to those covered by the existing 2004 directive. These are: respirable crystalline silica dust, 1,2-epoxypropane,...

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Council conclusions on the Commission Communication on the mid-term review of the Capital Markets Union Action Plan

“THE COUNCIL: 1.             RECALLS its conclusions of 10 November 2015 on the Commission Action Plan on building a Capital Markets Union[1] welcoming the adoption by the Commission of the Action Plan on Building a Capital Markets Union[2]; 2.             WELCOMES the Commission Communication on the Mid-Term Review of the Capital Markets Union Action Plan[3], which follows up on the good progress already made so far in delivering the measures announced in the Capital Markets Union Action Plan and NOTES that there is a need to further intensify policy efforts in building the Capital Markets Union (CMU), also in view of...

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Council conclusions on Action plan to tackle non-performing loans in Europe

“The Council: 1.             NOTES that the financial crisis and ensuing recessions, together with structural factors, sometimes accompanied by inadequate loan origination practices, have left the banks in some Member States with high ratios of non-performing loans (NPLs); 2.             RECOGNISES that although in the majority of Member States high NPL ratios did not emerge in recent years, the negative effects of current high NPL ratios in a substantial number of Member States can pose risks of cross-border spill-overs in terms of the overall economy and financial system of the EU and alter market perceptions of the European banking sector as...

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Economic, employment and fiscal policies: 2017 country-specific recommendations

On 11 July 2017, the Council issued its 2017 recommendations and opinions on the member states’ economic, employment and fiscal policies. This was the final stage of the 2017 ‘European Semester’, an annual policy monitoring process. The recommendations had been endorsed the European Council in June. In March 2017, the European Council approved the following priorities: boosting investment; pursuing structural reforms; responsible fiscal policies. The European Semester involves simultaneous monitoring of the member states’ economic, employment and fiscal policies during a six-month period every year. In the light of policy guidance given by the European Council annually in March, the...

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