Hold the Presses is your online newsportal en brings press releases from around the world. Journalists can use it for free, although it is their responsibilty to check the news. Hold the Presses is in no way responsible for the content of the press releases, the Sender is. We hope you enjoy reading the news we bring you on this website. If a message is published that is not acceptable, we apologize. Please contact us and we will remove the message as soon as possible.

Friday, 15 September 2017

EU Council: Media accreditation for the European Council on 19 and 20 October 2017

Media accreditation for the European Council on 19 and 20 October 2017

European Council meeting will take place on 19 and 20 October 2017 in the Europa building in Brussels. The press centre remains located in the Justus Lipsius building. 

 Application deadline: 29 September, 12.00


Procedure

  • If this is your first registration, please make sure you have a recent ID-size photograph in JPEG format (.jpg) and the number of your passport or identity card ready before starting the online process.
  • You will receive an acknowledgement of receipt by email. Please read it carefully as it includes the list of original documents you will be asked to present when collecting your badge. Depending on your profile, the requested document will include: Passport or ID card, press card and/or an original signed letter in paper copy from your editor-in chief as well as the signed original of your authorisation for security screening (only for media representatives of Belgian nationality or resident in Belgium). The press centre may contact you to request additional information if necessary. No accreditation badge will be issued if you cannot present all required documents.
  • Under certain conditions it is possible to organise a group registration/collection of badges for journalists working for the same media. Select group registration at the beginning of the accreditation process and follow the instructions.
  • Trainees with media organisations who do not possess a press card are not entitled to request accreditation

Journalists holding a 6-month badge (01.07.2017 - 31.12.2017) do not need to register

6-month badges can be collected at the accreditation centre of the LEX building during summits. Please ensure that you have all the required documents when collecting your badge.

Collection of badges

Accreditation badges must be collected in person from the LEX building (145 rue de la Loi, Brussels)  

  • Wednesday 18 October - 9.30 - 13.00 and 14.00 - 18.00
  • Thursday 19 October - 8.30 - 20.00 
  • Friday 20 October - from 08.00 to the end of the final press conference (max. 22.00)

Practical information on the press centre and the media programme will follow.

For more details on the European Council meeting, see the meeting page.

Lees verder

Statement by President Donald Tusk on the DPRK nuclear test

The DPRK's latest nuclear test gravely violates DPRK's obligations under international law, repeated demands from the UN Security Council and the global non-proliferation and disarmament regime. It compels the international community to unite in swift and decisive reaction. 

The DPRK must abandon its nuclear, weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missile programmes in a complete, verifiable and irreversible manner, it must cease all related activities at once.

The EU stands ready to sharpen its policy of sanctions and invites North Korea to restart dialogue on its programmes without condition. We call on the UN Security Council  to adopt further UN sanctions and show stronger resolve to achieve a peaceful denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula. The stakes are getting too high.

Lees verder

EU prolongs sanctions over actions against Ukraine's territorial integrity until 15 March 2018

On 14 September 2017, the Council prolonged the restrictive measures over actions undermining or threatening the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of Ukraine for a further six months, until 15 March 2018. The measures consist of asset freezes and travel bans. 

An assessment of the situation did not justify a change in the sanctions regime. The list was reviewed and the Council removed four deceased persons from the list of persons subject to these restrictive measures. Following a merger involving three listed entities, these entities were removed from the list and the entity into which they have merged was added in order to maintain the existing level of sanctions. The restrictive measures now apply to 149 persons and 38 entities.

The relevant information and statement of reasons for the listing of these persons and entities were updated as necessary. The legal acts will be available in the EU Official Journal of 15 September 2017.


Other EU measures in place in response to the Ukraine crisis include: 

  • economic sanctions targeting specific sectors of the  Russian economy, currently in place until 31 January 2018;
  • restrictive measures in response to the illegal annexation of Crimea and Sevastopol, limited to the territory of Crimea and Sevastopol, currently in place until 23 June 2018.
Lees verder

North Korea: Council reinforces EU sanctions in line with UN Security Council resolution 2371 of 5 August 2017

The Council further strengthened its restrictive measures against the Democratic People's Republic of Korea by transposing the sectoral sanctions imposed by UN Security Council resolution 2371 (2017). This resolution was adopted on 5 August 2017 in response to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK)'s ongoing nuclear weapon and ballistic missile-development activities, in violation and flagrant disregard of previous UN Security Council resolutions.

The Council will swiftly transpose the additional sanctions included in the latest UN security Council resolution (2375 of 11 September 2017), which introduces further sanctions on the DPRK, including strengthening some of the measures introduced by UNSCR 2371, for instance on North Korean workers. This reflects the approach agreed at the informal meeting of EU foreign ministers in Tallinn on 7 September, which also emphasises the need to work for the implementation of all UN Security Council resolutions by all UN states.


The measures introduced by UNSC resolution 2371 (2017) target the DPRK's main exports, imposing a total ban on all exports of coal iron, iron ore, seafood, lead and lead ore . Additional sanctions target the DPRK's arms smuggling, joint ventures with foreign companies, banks and its ability to generate revenue and to access the international financial system. In addition, the EU members states will not allow any more North Korean nationals to work on their territories as they are suspected of generating revenue which is used to support the country's illegal nuclear and ballistic missile programmes. 

Member states will also prohibit the opening of new joint ventures and cooperative entities, as well as the expansion of existing joint ventures through additional investments with any entities and individuals from the DPRK. 

The Council had already transposed on 10 August the additional listings imposed by the UN Security Council resolution, adding 9 persons and 4 entities that support these illicit programs to the lists of those subject to an asset freeze and  travel restrictions. The total number of persons under restrictive measures against the DPRK is 62 persons and 50 entities as listed by the UN. In addition, 41 persons and 6 entities are designated by the EU autonomously. 

The EU is implementing all UN Security Council resolutions adopted in response to the DPRK's nuclear and nuclear weapons, other weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missile programmes. In addition, the EU has imposed autonomous restrictive measures against the DPRK, complementing and reinforcing the UN sanctions regime.

The legal acts will be published in the Official Journal of 15 September.

Lees verder

EU-Japan trade negotiating directives made public

The Council decided on 14 September 2017 to publish the directives given to the Commission to negotiate a trade agreement with Japan. 

In 2012, the Council gave a mandate to the Commission to start trade negotiations with Japan. At the EU-Japan summit of 6 July 2017, both parties reached agreement in principle on the main elements of a free trade deal, known as the economic partnership agreement (EPA). Work is currently underway to address the remaining open issues and finalise the legal text, with a view to the signature, ratification and conclusion of the agreement. 

The EPA is a highly ambitious and comprehensive trade agreement. When fully implemented, 99% of the tariffs applied on EU exports to Japan, which currently amount to about €1 billion, will be removed. The agreement will create sizeable new opportunities for EU agricultural exports, while protecting high quality EU food and drink products and intellectual property rights on Japanese markets. It will also open up services markets and significantly increase EU companies' access to Japan's procurement bids. The EPA is based on the highest standards of labour, safety, environment and consumer protection. It is also the first trade agreement including a specific commitment to the Paris climate agreement.

The decision to make the negotiating directives public was taken by common accord: all Member States gave support to the publication.

Lees verder