The Energy Council is taking place in Brussels on 5 December. I will be representing the UK, and below are the agenda items to be discussed.
The Council will hold a policy debate on the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council concerning measures to safeguard the security of gas supply and repealing regulation (EU) No 994/2010. This will focus on possible alternative approaches for regional co-operation, exchange of information on commercial contracts and solidarity. The Council will consider the structure of core regions or groups of countries working together to address specific risks. The debate will also cover the role of competent authorities and the Commission in accessing contract information on security of supply issues and whether a solidarity mechanism should be harmonised or reflect member state specificities.
The Commission introduced the “winter package” on 30 November. As expected this is comprised of legislative proposals for the update of the energy efficiency, energy performance of buildings and renewable energy directives together with new legislative proposals on electricity market design and governance of the energy union.
The Commission will update the Council on progress on developing the external dimension of the EU energy policy. This will be followed by an exchange of views on whether progress has been made on strengthening the common voice of the EU in relations with partners beyond its borders; which countries or regions are the most relevant for the EU; and the tools to be used to enhance mutual cooperation. It will also cover how the EU should best approach the ongoing transformation of the global energy system, and respond to reform processes within international energy organisations.
The presidency will provide an update on the “state of play” on the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council, setting a framework for energy efficiency labelling. This will focus on the delays in the trilogue negotiations between European Parliament, Council and the Commission.
The presidency will also provide a short “state of play” update on the proposal for a decision of the European Parliament and of the Council on establishing an information exchange mechanism with regard to intergovernmental agreements and non-binding instruments between member states and third countries in the field of energy.
The Commission will update the Council on recent developments in the field of external energy relations.
Finally, Malta will inform the Council of the priorities for their presidency in the first half of 2017.