My right honourable friend the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change (Ed Miliband) has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.
I represented the UK at the Energy Council in Brussels on 19 February.
The council discussed the Russia-Ukraine gas crisis and the Commission’s recent second strategic European energy review (SEER2) (council document 15944/08). Ministers reiterated their support for the SEER2 and agreed council conclusions, which will be submitted to the spring European Council scheduled for 19 and 20 March.
This was followed by a policy debate on measures to promote oil and gas security, based on questions prepared by the Czech presidency. Ministers generally endorsed the Commission’s objectives on oil stocking and gas security of supply, although the presidency noted the need for a balance between the harmonisation of objectives and flexibility in member states’ obligations in meeting them.
Finally, the Commission and presidency presented information on a number of international energy-related events that have taken place or are due to take place under the Czech presidency, including the Sofia energy summit and the Hungarian Nabucco summit. Slovenia spoke about its candidature for the seat of the Agency for the Co-operation of Energy Regulators (ACER).
Over lunch, Ministers discussed informally the energy dimension of the Commission’s economic recovery package.