In advance of the forthcoming Energy Council in Brussels on 31 May, I am writing to hon. Members to outline the agenda items to be discussed. I will represent the UK.
The first item on the agenda is a progress report from the presidency about negotiations with the European Parliament on the proposal for a regulation on security of gas supply. We understand that the presidency aims to reach a first reading deal with the European Parliament by the end of June. The UK has worked very closely with the presidency, Commission and other like-minded member states and is pleased with the progress made so far.
There will then be an exchange of views on the energy aspects of the Europe 2020 growth strategy where member states are expected to seek clarity on the process for monitoring performance towards energy efficiency targets, in preparation for a wider discussion of the strategy at the June European Council.
This will be followed by a debate on the EU’s future energy policy as a contribution to the development of the energy strategy for Europe 2011-2020. Discussion will focus on the Commission’s “stock-taking” document. Ministers will also be asked to adopt conclusions on the document. The UK is content with the text of the conclusions, which set out high-level principles for the new energy strategy.
The Commission and presidency will update the Council on a number of international items: the EU-US Energy Council, EU-OPEC, the 12th International Energy Forum, the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership, the Energy Community Treaty and Russia/Ukraine. Finally, the Commission will present reports on the implementation of the European energy programme for recovery; the trans-European energy networks in the period 2007-09; and the Baltic energy market interconnection plan.