General Affairs Council: extracts from the press conference
Lieu: Luxembourg (town), Luxembourg - Council
End production: 21/06/2011 First transmission: 21/06/2011
EU Ministers in charge of European Affairs meet in Luxembourg to prepare the June meeting of the European Council, and to take note of a Council work programme prepared by the "trio" of future presidencies: Poland, Denmark and Cyprus.
The agenda of the summit will include the issues of the economic governance, the country-specific recommendations, the improvement of the Schengen regime, migration and the accesion of Croatia to the European Union.
Only the original language version is authentic and it prevails in the event of its differing from the translated versions.
||General view of the press conference room
||SOUNDBITE (in ENGLISH) János Martonyi, Hungarian Foreign Affairs Minister: I do not want to anticipate anything at this point of time. I do hope that everybody will understand the very special and crucial importance of the decisions which lie ahead of the institutions.
||SOUNDBITE (in ENGLISH) Maroš Šefcovic, EC Vice-President in charge of Inter-Institutional Relations and Administration: I very much appreciated how smoothly the discussion on nation reform programmes and on convergence programmes went with the member states this morning. We managed to clarify the remaining issues and I'm very glad to say that now we have a consensual approach to the country specific recommendations. Now the European Semester is over, the National Semesters will start and of course it will be a very important period for the European Union because all the measures we have agreed upon jointly will have to be implemented at national level.
||SOUNDBITE (in ENGLISH) János Martonyi: I think that progress will be important both with the respect to the improvement of the Schengen regime and also for the further development of the asylum policy of the EU.
||SOUNDBITE (in ENGLISH) Maroš Šefcovic: This is a very good week for Croatia because we are really coming to close a very intensive and demanding accession process.
||SOUNDBITE (in ENGLISH) János Martonyi: Outstanding issues are now being discussed and resolved. And there is now a fair chance, and indeed more than that, that the accession negotiations will be concluded by midnight the 31st of June.
||Cutaways (2 shots)