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Brussels, 28 February 2014
Preparation of the Energy Council, 4 March 2014
The first Energy Council under the Hellenic Presidency will be held on 4 March in Brussels. EU Energy Commissioner Günther Oettinger will represent the European Commission. The Council will start with a policy debate on energy prices and costs, following the respective Communication which the Commission presented on 22 January.
In the run-up to the March European Council, the Council will debate the Commission proposal on the 2030 framework, with a focus on energy policy. Discussions over both energy prices and the 2030 Framework will contribute to the preparation of the European Council to be held on 20/21 March 2014.
Communication from the Commission on "Energy prices and costs in Europe"
As requested by the May 2013 European Council, the Commission carried out a comprehensive analysis on energy prices and costs. The analysis shows that the convergence and fall in wholesale electricity prices has not resulted in lower retail prices, suggesting among others inadequate implementation of the internal energy market acquis as well as increases in national taxes/levies and network costs (for further information please see MEMO/14/38).
The Commission proposed several courses of action in recent years with a view to ensuring that Europe's citizens and businesses can deal effectively with the energy price challenge and that the EU can maintain its competitiveness, today, up to 2030 and beyond. These measures include amongst others increasing energy efficiency, completing the internal energy market by 2014, investing in technology and innovation, developing the energy infrastructure in the EU and diversifying sources of energy. Moreover, Member States should ensure that the energy policy levy and the tax component reflected in the prices are applied as cost effectively as possible.
Communication from the Commission on "A policy framework for climate and energy in the period from 2020 to 2030"
On 22 January 2014 the Commission proposed targets for energy and climate policies up to 2030. The objectives send a strong signal to the market, encouraging private investment in low-carbon technologies. The framework proposed by the Commission is based on a reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 40% below the 1990 level, an EU-wide binding target for renewable energy of at least 27%, renewed ambitions for energy efficiency policies, a new governance system and a set of new indicators to ensure a competitive and secure energy system (for further information please see IP/14/54).
Ministers will be asked to focus in their debate on the main elements of the Commission Proposal.
For more information please consult the website of the European Commission.