Council Report on EU external energy policy endorsed by the Energy Council

13 December 2013, Last updated at, 16:01 EEST
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author: The Council of the European Union

Today the TTE (energy) Council endorsed the Council Report on the review of developments of the external dimension of the EU energy policy.

Member States send out an important message on the need for the EU to speak with one voice both externally and internally. In this context, they welcome the progress achieved by establishing the information exchange mechanism in 2012with regard to intergovernmental agreements (IGAs). This mechanism provides the option of Commission’s assistance and envisages the ex-ante revision during bilateral negotiations that Member States have with third countries.

“The Report emphasizes the need to take every effort to ensure a level playing field with third countries. Member States agree that this should be based on principles of reciprocity, transparency, fairness, non-discrimination and openness to competition. They also consider it essential that EU legislation is applied to all entities that operate within the Internal Energy Market. These principles should be taken into account when preparing EU trade agreements,” said Minister Jaroslav Neverovič.

Regulatory convergence is highlighted in the Report as a key instrument for the extension of the EU Internal Energy Market to neighbouring countries. As significant progress has been achieved in the Energy Community, Member States express support for its further expansion and urge focusing on EU acquis implementation.

Member States confirm their commitment to the diversification policy aimed at strengthening the European Union in dealing with external energy partners and also reducing energy import dependence. In this context, the Report stresses the important role of indigenous energy resources and EU-wide energy infrastructure.

According to Neverovič, Member States acknowledge the potential benefits of EU-level negotiations with strategic suppliers on issues such as long-term contract conditions or energy pricing principles. They also ask for a stronger Commission’s role in sensitive negotiations with third countries upon the request of Member States concerned. Member States call on the Commission to take up an important role by coordinating the positions of the Member States concerned, by acting as main negotiator and by ensuring the respect for Union legislation.

that the Commission, the Council and the Member States shall continue their efforts in the external energy policy taking due account of the recommendations set out in this Report and invites the Council to return to this issue before the end of 2016 taking into account of developments on the external dimension of the EU energy policy.

This Report follows on the European Council Conclusions of 22 May where the Council was asked to review developments of EU external energy policy before the end of 2013, including the need to ensure a level playing-field vis-à-vis third country energy producers as well as nuclear safety in the EU neighbourhood. The Lithuanian Presidency has taken the lead to fulfil this task by drafting the Report upon extensive input from the Member States and the Commission.

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