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General Affairs Council

Volume 599: debated on Thursday 10 September 2015

I will attend the EU General Affairs Council (GAC) on 14 September. The Council will be held in Brussels and be chaired by the Luxembourg presidency.

The GAC is expected to focus on: the Luxembourg presidency Work programme; preparation of the agenda for the European Council on 15 and 16 October 2015; and the 2016 Commission Work programme.

Luxembourg presidency Work programme

The GAC will discuss the Luxembourg presidency Work programme. Luxembourg has set out seven “pillars” for its presidency: stimulating investment to boost growth and employment; deepening the European Union's social dimension; managing migration, combining freedom, justice and security; revitalising the single market by focusing on its digital dimension; placing European competitiveness in a global and transparent framework; promoting sustainable development; and strengthening the European Union’s presence on the global stage.

The UK shares many of the priorities of the Luxembourg presidency, particularly those based around supporting growth and European competitiveness.

Preparation of the October European Council

The GAC will prepare the agenda for the 15 and 16 October European Council, which the Prime Minister will attend. The draft October European Council agenda covers: migration; economic and monetary union; and an update on the UK’s EU renegotiation, including the state of play of technical talks and intentions for the process ahead. The European Council may also consider external relations issues.

2016 Commission Work programme

GAC Ministers will hold an exchange of views on the Commission’s letter of intent for their 2016 Work programme.