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Energy Council (6 June 2016)

Volume 611: debated on Monday 13 June 2016

Today, my noble Friend, the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change made the following statement.

I am writing to report on discussions at the Energy Council held in Luxembourg on 6 June.

The Council, chaired by the Dutch presidency, featured discussions around a central theme of energy security.

The meeting began with the Council approving a general approach on the proposed decision with regard to intergovernmental agreements (IGAs) in the field of energy.

For the second agenda item European Commissioner Miguel Arias Cañete opened a policy debate on gas security of supply by calling for improvements to regional co-operation, solidarity and the transparency of commercial gas contracts. This was in order to address vulnerabilities that still exist in the case of major disruptions to gas supplies. Interventions from member states were mixed; some supported the Commission’s approach whereas others referenced the need for a more flexible, voluntary approach to regional configurations. There was further discussion on the concept of solidarity arrangements and how these would apply not only to EU member states but to energy community states; a group of countries from south-east Europe and the Black Sea region.

Later, the Dutch presidency presented their conclusions on electricity market design which they hoped would provide guidance to the Commission on their proposals due out by the end of the year.

In the afternoon the Council listened to presentations from the Dutch presidency on the security of supply of medical radioisotopes to promote a longer term, more sustainable market. This was followed by a presentation from the Slovak Minister on their forthcoming presidency’s work programme.

The Council ended with an update from Commissioner Cañete on recent events in international relations as well as progress on implementing the Commission’s strategy on LNG (liquefied natural gas) storage which is to be implemented later this year.