To ask the Secretary of State for Energy if he expects to attend future meetings of the European Community Council of Energy Ministers for discussions on energy saving and anti-pollution measures.
[pursuant to his reply, 14 May 1990, c. 590]: The Council, under the presidency of Mr. Molloy, the Irish Energy Minister, made useful progress.
The Council made significant progress towards establishing a single energy market by adopting a directive on transparency of gas and electricity prices and reaching agreement on a directive on transit on electricity networks. However, in the context of gas transit, support for the monopoly privileges of the main gas transmission companies remains strong in the industry and certain member states; we hope for further progress under the next presidency.
The Commission agreed to give priority over its recent proposal to a more thorough implementation of the existing regulations on notification of investment projects.
In addition, the Council debated a European Commission report on energy and the environment and adopted valuable conclusions on the contribution energy policies should make to protecting the environment. It approved the Thermie programme for demonstrating and disseminating new energy technologies which should contribute significantly to that end. Commissioner Cardoso reported to the Council on the Commission's recent "Energy for a New Century Conference" which is expected to be a source of ideas for developing future energy policy.