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Brussels, 2 December 2010

Preparation of the Energy Council, 3rd December 210

The Energy Council under the Belgian Presidency will be held tomorrow morning on 3 December in Brussels. Energy Commissioner Günther Oettinger will represent the European Commission.

The Energy Council will start with the adoption of Council Conclusions on consumers' rights within the energy internal market. The Member States will also be invited to adopt Council Conclusions on the safety of offshore activities. The core of the meeting will then be devoted to a policy debate on two important Communications presented by the Commission: the Energy Strategy for Europe 2011-2020 and the Infrastructure priorities for 2020 and beyond.

1. Energy policy for Consumers: Adoption of Council conclusions

Energy Ministers will be invited to adopt Council conclusions on “An Energy Policy for Consumers”.

The conclusions calls on Member States to make the necessary improvements for an adequate information and transparency to increase consumer rights and extend their freedom of choice.

Background: The conclusions are built on two recent Commission Staff Working Papers (see IP/10/1507 of 15/11/2010)

  • An Energy policy for Europe”, which takes stock of the consumer benefits that existing energy policy measures provide for and analyses what more can be done to enhance consumer interests,

  • Results of a study on "the functioning of the electricity retail market”

2. Communication of the Commission on “Facing the challenge of offshore oil and gas operations”: Adoption of Council conclusions

The Council is invited to adopt the conclusions on the safety of offshore activities on the basis of the Communication of the Commission which has been adopted on 13 October (see IP/10/1324 and MEMO/10/486)

The Council conclusions define a roadmap for further action and give a strong support for the future proposals that the Commission intends to table in 2011.

3.Towards a new Energy Strategy for Europe 2011-2020: Policy debate

The key part of the Council session will be devoted to the public policy debate on the Energy Strategy 2020 (IP/10/1492) and on the Infrastructure priorities for 2020 and beyond (see IP/10/1512 and MEMO/10/582).

These initiatives aim to provide a framework to achieve a truly integrated pan European energy market.

The debate will fuel the discussion by Heads of States and Governments at the very first EU Summit on Energy on 4 February 2011.

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