Prime Minister, Minister of State Xavier Bettel attended the Special European Council in Brussels on 9th and 10th February. The main items on the agenda included Russia's war of aggression against Ukraine, the economic situation at EU level, as well as aspects of European migration policy.
On 9 February, in the margins of the talks in the usual format, EU leaders had the opportunity to meet with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, who was in Brussels for meetings at various EU institutions.
During the multilateral meeting with the President of Ukraine, Xavier Bettel stressed that "Luxembourg will continue to support Ukraine by offering military assistance, humanitarian aid and support in international fora to ensure that no war crimes go unpunished. A special tribunal, established through an agreement between Ukraine and the United Nations, seems to be the best option to ensure accountability for the crime of aggression against Ukraine and to overcome the problem of personal immunity of Russian leaders.
With regard to the discussions on the economic dimension, it is important to note that for Luxembourg, the single market is at the heart of the EU's economic resilience and its open strategic autonomy. The rigorous implementation of the acquis communautaire is key to the credibility and effectiveness of the single market and to political and legal certainty, including on the international stage. The Prime Minister reminded his counterparts that: "In general, Luxembourg has a clear preference for a simplification and extension of the General Block Exemption Regulation (GBER), which, if further simplified, would provide the necessary predictability and legal certainty for businesses in the long term".
The conclusions of the Special European Council set out measures to support long-term competitiveness, such as simplified state aid procedures, funds to facilitate the green transition and simple, predictable and clear framework conditions to encourage investment.
On common solutions to migration flows, Xavier Bettel welcomed the work of the French and Czech presidencies on the Asylum and Migration Pact. To this end, Luxembourg fully supports a comprehensive reform of the EU's migration and asylum policies and will continue to give its full support to the ongoing work in the relevant fora on the various legislative instruments. The Prime Minister stated that: "We must remain ambitious and mention that this work should be completed before the end of the legislature.
The conclusions also include a passage on the earthquake in Turkey and Syria, stating that the EU remains ready to provide further assistance to alleviate the suffering in all regions. In this spirit of support, a donor conference will be held to mobilise financial assistance from the international community.
Press release by the Ministry of State