EU Ministers Back Clean Energy Package
European Union’s energy ministers acknowledged on February 27 the importance of the Commission’s extensive legislative package “Clean Energy for all Europeans” and underlined the need to make progress on all proposals.
“However, they also stressed that the implications of these issues for member states and the responsibility of the co-legislators calls for the proposals to be examined in detail,” the European Council said in a press release.
The package focuses on putting energy efficiency first, achieving global leadership in renewable energies and providing a fair deal for consumers. It includes proposals on electricity market design, energy efficiency, security of supply, renewables and governance rules aimed at implementing the Energy Union strategy. The overall aim of the strategy is to transform the EU into a low carbon economy by 2030.
At their meeting on February 27, the energy ministers also heard the European Commission’s presentation of its recent report on the State of the Energy Union. Ministers welcomed the report’s conclusion that the European Union has already achieved considerable reductions in energy consumption and that the EU is on track to reach its 2020 energy efficiency target. At the same time they recognized that member states’ efforts must continue, the Council said.
Maltese Minister Konrad Mizzi said his country’s EU Presidency is “well aware of the strategic importance of the Energy Union and of the benefits it will bring to our economy and our citizens. We are fully committed to make progress on the Clean Energy package through effective dialogue”.
The EU energy ministers were also briefed by the Presidency on progress on two important legislative proposals on which negotiations with the European Parliament have already started: the regulations on security of gas supply and on energy efficiency labelling. The Presidency intends to reach to reach a political agreement with the European Parliament on both files this semester.
Several ministers asked the Commission for clarifications on the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, also in the follow-up to the letter sent by the Chair of the Parliament’s Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE) to the Chair of the European Energy Council on this issue.
Mizzi said Malta’s Presidency is speeding-up its work on the Gas Security of Supply legislation, which will ensure gas availability for all member states, as well as energy efficiency labelling legislation, which will enable consumers to make informed choices when buying products.
The Council also said that ministers were also updated on the Ocean Energy Forum.
During a working lunch ministers discussed Energy Union governance, given its close links to all the other Clean Energy proposals.