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Brussels, 9 June 2011

Preparation of the Energy Council, 10th June 2011

The last Energy Council under the Hungarian Presidency will be held on the morning of the 10th June 2011 in Luxembourg. Energy Commissioner Günther Oettinger will represent the European Commission. The Energy Council will start with a presidency report on the state of play of the discussions on the proposal of the Commission for a Regulation on Energy Market Integrity and Transparency (REMIT). The Energy Ministers will then be invited to adopt Council Conclusions on the Communication of the Commission on an “Energy Efficiency Plan 2011”, presented on 8 March 2011. They will also be informed on the outcomes of the discussion which took place at the Informal Energy Council on the Energy Roadmap 2050. This will be followed by an oral report of the Commission on energy infrastructure investment needs and gaps, in response to the request of the 4th of February European Council and the 28th of February Energy Council. The Commission will also debrief the Energy Ministers on the state of play of the risk and safety assessment of the nuclear power plants which has been requested by the European Council on 25th of March, after the Japanese earthquake. The last point on the agenda concerns the usual information from the Presidency and the Commission on recent developments regarding international relations in the field of energy.

1. Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on energy market integrity and transparency (REMIT): Presidency report on the state of play

Following the adoption of a progress report at the last February Energy Council, the Presidency will update the Energy Ministers on the state of play of the discussion on the REMIT proposal (see IP/10/1676 and MEMO/10/655 of 8 December 2010).

This proposal has been discussed in the Council on an almost weekly basis since December 2010. In the Parliament, the Committee for Industry, Research, Technology and Energy (ITRE) has adopted its report on 26 May. The discussions are now entering into a strategic phase as both institutions aim to reach a first reading agreement on this file during the informal trilogues scheduled for June.

The Commission fully supports this ambition and would welcome a swift agreement on this file to ensure an effective and efficient oversight of the gas and electricity markets.

2. Energy Efficiency Plan 2011: Adoption of Council conclusions

The second point on the agenda concerns the adoption of Council conclusions on the Communication of the Commission for a new Energy Efficiency Plan 2011, adopted on 8 March 2011 (see IP/11/271 and MEMO/11/149 of 8/03/2011).

The Commission welcomes these conclusions which will shape the framework of our actions in order to deliver on our 20% energy efficiency target and to tap the considerable potential for higher energy savings, as requested by the Heads of State and Government on 4th February 2011.

As a follow-up, the Commission will present in the coming weeks a proposal for a new Energy Efficiency Directive which will provide a legal instrument for implementing the majority of the elements presented in the Energy Efficiency Plan.

3. Energy Roadmap 2050: Follow-up to the Informal Energy Council

The Presidency will present a summary of the debate on the Energy Roadmap 2050 which took place in the Informal Meeting of the Energy Ministers in Budapest and Gödollö on the 2nd and 3rd of May, in order to feed into the on-going preparatory work of the Commission on the issue.

The Commission has the intention to present its Communication on the Energy Roadmap 2050 by the end of the year. It will lay down a common foundation for the long term European energy policy in order to ensure our objective of a secure, sustainable and competitive energy policy.

4. Energy infrastructure investments: financing requirements and obstacles: Presidency report on the state of play and oral information from the Commission

The issue of Investments in Energy Infrastructure has been high on the agenda of the Energy Council over the last two years. Following the presentation of its Communication on “Energy Infrastructure priorities for 2020 and beyond" at the 2010 December Energy Council and in accordance with the request of the February European Council, the Commission will report to the June Council “on figures on the investments likely to be needed, on suggestions on how to respond to financing requirements and on how to address possible obstacles to infrastructure investment”.

This issue will also be substantially discussed in the working lunch of the Energy Ministers.

The Commission has the intention to propose in the coming months a legislative proposal which will address all these issues.

5. A comprehensive risk and safety assessment ("stress tests") of nuclear plants: Presidency report and Commission oral information on the state of play

The Commission will present the latest developments related to the comprehensive safety and risk assessment (the "stress tests") of the nuclear facilities in the EU, particularly the methodology and the roadmap of the tests, as agreed on 25 May between the Commission and the European Nuclear Safety Regulators' Group (ENSREG).

6. International relations in the field of energy: Information by the Commission and the Presidency

The Commission and the Presidency will provide information on the recent events and developments in the external energy relations.

Commissioner Oettinger will in particular inform the Ministers on the outcomes of his visit to Baku on 8 June. He will also present in a few words the proposal of the Commission for a negotiating mandate with the Republic of Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan on the legal framework for a Trans-Caspian (Natural Gas) Pipeline System.

In addition, the Commissioner will update the Ministers on the recent developments in the EU relations with Iraq, Russia, the United States and the Southern Mediterranean region and will inform them about the upcoming EU-OPEC Ministerial meeting.

7. Any Other business:

Under AOB, the Swedish delegation, supported by the Austrian, Finnish, Slovenian, Latvian, Lithuanian and Estonian delegations, will raise the issue of sustainability criteria for biomass.

The Presidency will inform the Energy Ministers on the outcomes of the High-Level Conference on Infrastructure which took place in Budapest on 16 and 17 May 2011.

The Commission will also inform the Council on recent developments regarding two regional initiatives: the Baltic Energy Market Interconnection Plan and the North-South Interconnections initiative.

Finally the incoming Polish Presidency will present its work programme for the second semester 2011.

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