European affairs

The Ministry’s Directorate of International Economic Relations and European Affairs (Directorate II) coordinates European policy between the ministerial departments. It chairs the Inter-ministerial committee for European policy coordination (Comité interministériel de coordination de la politique européenne - CICPE), and coordinates the transposition and application of European Union law. In European Policy matters, Directorate II is the main point of contact for Luxembourg institutions and authorities. In this context, it is responsible for preparing the government’s annual report on European policy as well as the annual report on the transposition of European directives submitted to the Chamber of Deputies.

Moreover, Directorate II is in charge of coordinating bilateral relations with European countries. It also coordinates Luxembourg’s positions on enlargement of the European Union and the Eastern Partnership.

Directorate II also represents Luxembourg within the European forums responsible for the Common Commercial Policy, which deal in particular with trade negotiations as well as the anti-dumping, anti-subsidy and market access portfolios.

Application of EU law - transposition of European directives

The 2018 report on the implementation of European directives and the application of European Union law, coordinated by the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs, was submitted to the Chamber of Deputies on 22nd June 2018. The report was elaborated as part of the memorandum (‘aide-mémoire’) concluded between the Chamber of Deputies and the Luxembourgish government in relation to their cooperation on European policy.

After experiencing an increase in its transposition deficit in 2015 and 2016, Luxembourg now again complies with the 1%-threshold set by the March 2007 European Council. By the end of the second semester of 2017, the deficit ratio had been reduced from 1.1% to 1%. The European Commission’s internal market scoreboard for the first half of 2018 will confirm this downward trend, as Luxembourg’s transposition deficit will be down to 0.8%. This constitutes a significant improvement compared to the previous year.

With regard to the implementation of European Union law, it should be noted that the number of infringement proceedings for non-compliance of Luxembourg law with EU law has been decreasing continuously over the past years (see 2nd part of the report).

In its first part, the report reviews Luxembourg’s results in the European Commission’s internal market scoreboards. The 2nd part then concentrates on infringements proceedings initiated by the European Commission against Luxembourg - either for failure to transpose directives within the prescribed period or for non-compliance of national law with EU law. Finally, the 3rd part reviews the progress made by the different ministerial departments in transposing those European directives for which the European Commission has not yet been notified of national implementation measures.

Report on the government's European policy

Inter-ministerial committee for European policy coordination (Comité interministériel de coordination de la politique européenne - CICPE)

The Inter-ministerial committee for European policy coordination (CICPE) convenes senior civil servants of the ministries involved in European affairs, joined by the permanent representative and/or the deputy permanent representative of Luxembourg to the European Union. Their task is to coordinate Luxembourg’s position on cross-cutting European matters. Chaired by the director of European affairs and international economic relations of the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs (MFEA), the Committee regularly reviews the key items on the agendas of the European Council and of the various different configurations of the Council of the EU. Furthermore, at each meeting, the CICPE examines the issues of particular interest to Luxembourg, which require close consultation between the various ministries. The MFEA can also organise inter-ministerial meetings in restricted formats for in-depth discussion of certain specific issues.

The CICPE’s task is to prepare matters on which political decision-making is required, if necessary by convening a Cabinet meeting. Moreover, it acts as a forum for regular exchange of views between ministries. On the government’s behalf, the CICPE also ensures the promotion of dialogues with the economic and social spheres on European issues.

The Committee monitors the transposition of European directives with the purpose of adhering to the deadlines set for transposition. A transposition deficit below 1% on the European Commission’s internal market scoreboard is targeted. The Committee also defined a state of play of the infringement procedures initiated by the European Commission for failure to transpose a directive within the deadline, or for the incorrect or incomplete implementation of EU law.

The CICPE complements the network of European contacts, which is the primary communication tool between the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs and the other ministries, or even administrative authorities.

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