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Brussels, 23 November 2011
Preparation of the Energy Council, 24th November 2011
The next Energy Council under the Polish Presidency will be held on 24th November 2011 in Brussels. Energy Commissioner Günther Oettinger will represent the European Commission. The Council will start with the presentation of the Progress report on the Proposal for a Directive on Energy efficiency. The Commission will then present the Proposal for a Regulation on safety of offshore oil and gas activities. The third item on the agenda will consist in a presentation and first exchange of views on the trans-European energy Infrastructure proposal. This debate will be followed by a discussion on the follow-up of the European Council. Ministers will then be invited to adopt Council Conclusions on the Commission Communication on Security of energy supply and international cooperation. The discussion on external relations will continue with the usual information from the Presidency and the Commission on recent developments.
1. Proposal for a Directive on Energy Efficiency: Progress report
The proposal brings forward ambitious measures to step up Member States efforts to use energy more efficiently at all stages of the energy chain – from transformation, to distribution and final consumption.
The Commission wishes to maintain the level of ambition of the proposal, which considers a good basis for discussions. It is important that Member States and the European Parliament adopt the directive in 2012, since improving energy efficiency is urgent to achieve the 20% energy target.
2. Proposal for a Regulation on safety of offshore oil and gas prospection, exploration and production activities: Presentation by the Commission
The Commission will present the draft regulation recently proposed, which introduces clear rules for effective prevention and response of major offshore accidents (see IP/11/1260 and MEMO/11/740 of 27 October 2011).
3. Proposal for a Regulation on guidelines for trans-European energy infrastructure: Presentation by the Commission and First exchange of views
The European Commission will set the background for the discussion, presenting the draft Regulation. This will be the first policy debate on the proposal aiming at building a more integrated and powerful energy network in Europe (see IP/11/1200 and MEMO/11/710 of 19 October 2011).
The debate will focus on the methodology of identification of projects of common interest, the new permit grating procedure, the increased public participation and regulatory issues.
These new measures are meant to provide for the private sector an encouraging legal and regulatory framework for infrastructure investments which are strongly needed in the coming years.
4. Follow-up to the European Council: Progress report
The second policy debate will start with a presentation by the Presidency of a stock taking report containing a review of the progress achieved since the February European Council . The areas covered will be: Energy efficiency, Internal Market, Infrastructure, External relations and nuclear.
Since February, the European Commission has tabled new ambitious initiatives and has been working actively with Member States on the implementation of the existing framework.
6. Communication from the Commission on "Security of energy supply and international cooperation – The EU energy policy: engaging wi th partners beyond our borders": Adoption of Council conclusions
Minister s will adopt conclusions on the Commission communication stressing the need for an assertive and coordinated external energy policy (see IP/11/1005 of 7 September 2011).
The document is perceived as balanced and ambitious. The conclusions reflect the need to strengthen the EU coordination in international cooperation in full respect of the respective competences of the EU and the Member States.
7 . International relations in the field of energy: Information from the Presidency and the Commission
This is the usual debriefing from the Commission and the Presidency on the energy-related international developments over the last semester. These will include amongst others developments in the EU-OPEC relations, the Energy Community, the Southern Corridor, the EU-Russia PPC and the EU-US relations.
8. Any Other business:
Under AOB, the Cypriot delegation will inform the Council on the recent developments related to the exploration drilling in its EEZ. It will also inform on the response provided to the emergency in the electricity sector after the Vasilikos Power Station accident.
The Greek delegation will inform energy ministers on IEA's presentation of the new study: Energy Policies of IEA Countries – Greece 2011 in Athens on 27 October, as well as on the Helios project. It will also inform the Council on the International public invitation for the participation in non –exclusive seismic survey offshore Western and Southern Greece.
After that, Italy will inform the ministers on the opportunity for a Joint Action at EU level for the refining sector.
The last point will be the presentation of the incoming Danish Presidency work programme.