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       2700th GENERAL AFFAIRS Council meeting, Brussels 12 December 2005 (provisional version) (PDF)
Main Results of the Council

The Council examined draft conclusions prepared by the presidency for the European Council on 15 and 16 December.

The Council adopted conclusions on EU enlargement, both on individual countries (Bulgaria and Romania, Croatia and Turkey) and on the EU enlargement strategy. It also reached political agreement on accession partnerships with Croatia and Turkey.

In the field of external relations, the Council, without debate:

  • adopted a common position setting the framework for imposing restrictive measures on persons suspected of involvement in the assassination of former Lebanese prime minister Rafiq Hariri;
  • decided to modify the list of persons affected by a visa ban in the Transnistian region of Moldova;
  • approved a mandate for the Commission to negotiate a partnership and cooperation agreement with China;
  • approved a series of documents in the framework of the implementation of the EU strategy against proliferation of WMD;
  • adopted EU guidelines on the promotion of humanitarian law;
  • adopted conclusions on aid for trade.

The Council adopted a regulation aimed at improving the quality of statistical data used in application of the EU's excessive deficit procedure, and a directive extending until 2010 the 15% minimum standard rate of VAT.

It also adopted a decision confirming the order of EU Council presidencies until 2018.

Items debated

Operational programme for 2006

Preparation of the European Council 15-16 December

  • Draft conclusions
  • Global approach to migration
  • Mediterranean and the Middle East
  • EU budgetary framework for 2007-13

Enlargement - council conclusions
Other items approved

External relations

  • Afghanistan - council conclusions
  • Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) - council conclusions
  • Sudan - council conclusions
  • Lebanon - Measures against suspects of involvement in Hariri killing
  • Moldova - Transnistrian region - Restrictive measures
  • Extension of mandate of the special coordinator of the stability past for south-eastern Europe
  • Western Balkans-European partnership
  • Relations with the Middle East and the Mediterranean
  • China - agreement on partnership and cooperation
  • EU strategy against proliferation of weapons of mass destruction
  • EU guidelines on children and armed conflict - council conclusions
  • Promotion of international humanitarian law
  • Human rights and democratisation in third countries - council conclusions
  • Guidelines on implementation and evaluation of restrictive measures

European Security and Defence Policy
  • Presidency six-monthly report on European security and defence policy
  • European Defence Agency - Budget for 2006
  • Civilian headline goal 2008

Development cooperation
* Aid for trade - council conclusions

Trade policy

  • Tonga - Accession to the WTO
  • Korea - Agreement on trade concessions - EU enlargement

Justice and home affairs / External relations
  • Terrorism - council conclusions
  • External dimension of the area of freedom, security and justice
  • EU Counter-Terrorism

Enlargement
  • Turkey - Accession Partnership
  • Croatia - Accession Partnership

Economics and financial affairs
  • 15% minimum standard VAT rate
  • Quality of EU governments accounts - Deficit and debt data
  • Taxation of savings income - Exchange of information between Member States
  • VAT - Germany - Cross-border bridges with Switzerland

General Affairs
* Proceedings in the council's different configurations

Institutional affairs
* Order of the presidencies of the Council of the EU

Appointments
* Committee of the Regions



A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Dec 14th, 2005 at 08:08:51 PM EST

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