L-R: State Secretary for European Affairs Konrad Szymanski; Luxembourg Minister of Foreign and European Affairs Jean Asselborn; EU Chief Brexit Negotiator Michel Barnier; Credit: MAEE

On Tuesday, European affairs ministers convened at the General Affairs Council (GAC) of the European Union in Luxembourg; discussions focused on Brexit, the multi-annual financial framework and developments in Poland and Hungary.

The ordinary session of the GAC was preceded by the GAC (Article 50) on the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the EU. The ministers discussed the latest developments concerning Brexit in preparation for the special meeting of the European Council (Article 50) of 10 April 2019. On this occasion, Luxembourg Minister of Foreign and European Affairs Jean Asselborn reaffirmed his commitment to the withdrawal agreement as the best way to ensure an orderly withdrawal of the UK from the EU.

The regular session of the GAC began with a discussion on the next multi-annual financial framework and adopted conclusions entitled "A sustainable Europe by 2030". To achieve the goals of the 2030 Agenda and sustainable development, Luxembourg has considered it essential to adopt a whole-of-government approach and to seek synergies between the different areas at all levels. Indeed, the Luxembourg government emphasised the transition to a more sustainable economy and society as a key priority.

Ministers then turned to developments in the rule of law in Poland and respect for the values ​​of the European Union in Hungary under Article 7 (1) of the EU Treaty. European Union. Over lunch, the ministers had an exchange of views on the preparations for the next European elections.