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The European Council on 13-14 December 2018 adopted conclusions on the MFF, the single market, migration and other items, namely external relations, climate change, security and defence, disinformation, the fight against racism and xenophobia and citizens' consultations.
MEPs backed a trade deal with Japan, awarded the Sakharov Prize to Oleg Sentsov and paid tribute to the victims of Tuesday’s terror attack in Strasbourg during December’s plenary session.
The EU27 leaders held a special meeting of the European Council in Article 50 format to discuss Brexit. They reconfirmed the conclusions of 25 November 2018, in which they endorsed the withdrawal agreement and approved the political declaration.
The European Parliament gave its consent to the EU’s trade agreement with Japan, the largest bilateral trade deal ever negotiated by the EU. The Economic Partnership Agreement will remove almost all custom duties adding up to €1 billion annually for EU companies.
For next year’s budget, MEPs have secured better support for students, unemployed youngsters and researchers. Commitment appropriations for 2019 total €165.8 billion; payment appropriations total €148.2 billion.
The Council discussed the next multiannual financial framework, prepared the December European Council and approved its 18-month programme. It also held a hearing on the rule of law in Poland and exchanged views under the Article 7(1) TEU procedure concerning Hungary.
Good progress is being achieved on a number of security initiatives, including the proposals to remove terrorist content online and to reinforce the European Border and Coast Guard, but more efforts are needed.
MEPs want the European Food Safety Agency to publish safety studies before a product is authorised to go on to the market. The revised rules aim to make risk assessment more transparent and ensure that the studies used by EFSA to authorise a product to be put on the market are reliable, objective and independent.
The Council discussed Iran focusing on the implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPoA). The ministers also discussed the situation in Venezuela and the dangerous increase of tensions in Ukraine.
The results of the EU Fundamental Rights Agency's latest survey on Antisemitism are particularly worrying: 85% of European Jews consider Antisemitism to be the biggest social or political problem in their home country.
The Council agreed its position on the regulation on European production and preservation orders for e-evidence in criminal matters. Ministers also agreed positions on the sales of goods directive and on the revision of so called Brussels IIa regulation.
The Council reached a general approach on proposals for a regulation on establishing the European Labour Authority (ELA) and for a directive on carcinogens or mutagens at work. The Council also adopted a recommendation on strengthened cooperation against vaccine-preventable diseases.
Delivering on its strategy on artificial intelligence (AI) adopted in April 2018 today the Commission presents a coordinated plan prepared with Member States to foster the development and use of AI in Europe.
To protect its democratic systems and public debates and in view of the 2019 European elections as well as a number of national and local elections that will be held in Member States by 2020, the EU is presenting today an Action Plan to step up efforts to counter disinformation in Europe and beyond.
In light of the upcoming European Council and Euro Summit in December, the Commission presents actions to strengthen the role of the euro in a changing world.
The Council endorsed the political agreement reached with the European Parliament on a package of risk reduction measures in the banking sector and adopted an action plan to better tackle money laundering and terrorist financing.
Ahead of the European Council meeting on 13 and 14 December 2018, the Commission is taking stock of the encouraging progress made so far in the negotiations of the EU's next long-term budget and urging Leaders to keep up the momentum.
Taking stock of measures taken since 2015, the report highlights the main trends in trafficking in human beings and outlines remaining challenges that the EU and Member States must address as a matter of priority.