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EU Energy Council

Volume 554: debated on Wednesday 28 November 2012

In advance of the forthcoming Energy Council in Brussels on 3 December, I am writing to outline the agenda items to be discussed.

We are expecting progress reports on the proposal for a regulation on guidelines for trans-European energy infrastructure and on the proposal for legislation on safety of offshore oil and gas. The Cyprus presidency is optimistic that it can secure a first reading deal with the European Parliament on the regulation on guidelines for trans-European energy infrastructure by the end of the year and we are content that the negotiated text addresses all our concerns. Negotiations of the proposal on offshore safety are likely to continue into the Irish presidency. Our main concern with this proposal was that it should be reframed in the form of a directive and it now seems likely that there will be agreement on this.

The Council is then expected to agree conclusions on the Commission communication on a strategy for renewable energy, which was published on 6 June. We are content with the text of the conclusions. The conclusions will contribute to the debate about a post-2020 EU climate and energy framework, including the issue of 2030 targets. While we are still developing our view of the framework, we do not favour 2030 technology-specific targets. The Commission is aiming to publish proposals in the second half of next year and the debate is expected to be prominent in the EU for the next year or so.

The Commission will then present its communication on the internal energy market, published on 16 November. The communication assesses the progress being made by member states towards completing the internal energy market and considers what remains to be done. We strongly support the completion of the single energy market and welcome the Commission’s assessment of progress to date and its consultation on capacity mechanisms. The debate on the communication will be combined with a tour de table on progress in delivering the conclusions on energy agreed by the European Council in February 2011.

The presidency and Commission will present a report on a number of international energy relations items, including the energy charter, the energy community, EU-China, the southern corridor, EU-Russia, and the EU-US.

Finally, the Irish delegation will present the programme for their presidency.