Irish Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, Pat Rabbitte TD, will chair a one day meeting of the TTE Council (Energy) in Brussels tomorrow, during which EU Ministers for Energy will discuss a range of issues including the Internal Energy Market, renewable energy sources and the European Semester.
Speaking today about the importance of the meeting, Minister Rabbitte said:
“The priorities of the Irish Presidency are stability, jobs and growth. The areas which the Energy Council will be discussing, including the internal energy market and identifying the best approach to meeting renewable targets, will have a major impact on this agenda.”
The main items on the agenda are the Commission's Communication on "Making the Internal Energy Market work", relating to the 2014 deadline for the completion of the Internal Energy Market; the ‘ILUC’ legislative proposal amending the Directives on the promotion of the use of energy from renewable sources and on fuel quality; and a discussion on finalisation of the contribution of the Energy Council to the European semester exercise.
The meeting will also include an update on the outcome of negotiations with the European Parliament on the proposal for a regulation on safety of offshore oil and gas prospection, exploration and production activities.
Minister Rabbitte will chair an orientation debate on the ‘ILUC’ legislative proposal. This proposal is aimed at addressing the complex issue of the impact of indirect land use change (ILUC) on greenhouse gas emissions from biofuels. ILUC is a measure used in the European Union to meet renewable energy targets. The debate will provide an opportunity to elicit the views of all Member States as to how shared environmental concerns in relation to indirect land-use change can best be addressed in the context of EU energy and climate change policy. The same questions will be addressed to the Environment Council which will be held in March.
The Council will also feature a policy debate on the Communication on the Internal Energy Market. The debate will focus on Member State priorities for the successful completion of the internal energy market and on identifying ways to increase the role of consumers in the EU energy market. It is intended to build on the progress made at tomorrow’s debate so as to inform further deliberations at the European Council on 22 May, which will focus, in part, on energy issues, and later at the June Energy Council in Luxembourg. At the June meeting Ministers will consider the adoption of a set of conclusions aimed at achieving the goal of completing the internal market for energy.