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18 October 2016
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M. Lajčák: Progress in delivering on commitments from Bratislava part of October summit

Luxembourg (18 October) – The upcoming summit of EU leaders and mid-term review of the Multi-annual Financial Framework dominated the agenda of today's General Affairs Council, chaired by Slovak Minister of Foreign and European Affairs Miroslav Lajčák.

 

"The EU has rapidly delivered on assistance to Bulgaria in the area of migration and on the Paris climate agreement. We need more of these types of action and results, also to boost trust of our citizens in how the EU works." 

Miroslav Lajčák

MFF mid-term review 

The Council continued its work on the mid-term review of the EU's budgetary framework for 2014-2020. Ministers discussed the various instruments proposed by the Commission and reflected on the need to find the right balance between predictability and flexibility in the budgetary framework. They also exchanged views on whether the new solutions put forward to accommodate unforeseen needs are compatible with the obligation for budgetary prudence. The Council will revert to this file in November.

"When we talk about money, there are no easy choices," said Miroslav Lajčák, the Slovak Minister of Foreign and European Affairs and President of the Council. "I heard from ministers some important political messages to further guide our technical work. We will do our utmost to reach a political agreement on this complex and challenging file by the end of the year."

Preparation of the October European Council

The Council finalised preparations of the October European Council by examining draft conclusions. At their meeting on 20-21 October EU leaders will focus on three subjects: migration, trade and Russia. On migration the European Council will take stock of the measures taken to reduce migratory flows on the Central Mediterranean route and of the implementation of the EU-Turkey statement to support the countries on the Western Balkans route. On trade, EU leaders will discuss how to ensure that EU trade policy continues to secure the benefits of open markets whilst at the same time addressing the concerns of citizens. On Russia, the European Council will hold a comprehensive discussion on the EU-Russia relationship.

Miroslav Lajčák said: "The Slovak Prime Minister, Robert Fico, is also going to report on progress in delivering on our commitments made at the Bratislava summit. For example, the EU has rapidly delivered on assistance to Bulgaria in the area of migration and on the Paris climate agreement. We need more of these types of action and results, also to boost trust of our citizens in how the EU works." 

Inter-institutional agreement on better law-making 

The Council assessed progress in the implementation of the interinstitutional agreement on better law-making. In line with this agreement, the Council, Parliament and Commission should agree by the end of the year on a set of shared priorities for 2017. This will allow them to cooperate more closely in tackling the significant challenges which lie ahead.

Doorstep by Slovak Foreign Minister M. Lajčák

Press conference following the General Affairs Council

 

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