Saturday

28th May 2022

EU leaders set deadlines for energy market

  • Gas rig in the Black Sea. The EU's gas market should be opened up by 2014 (Photo: eni.com)

EU leaders on Friday (4 February) agreed to set new deadlines for the completion of the bloc's internal energy market, linking up gas and electricity grids and consulting with the EU commission before doing bilateral energy deals with foreign suppliers.

"The internal market should be completed by 2014 so as to allow gas and electricity to flow freely," the final conclusions read.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Become an expert on Europe

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

National governments are also invited to "accelerate work" on adopting technical standards for electric vehicle charging systems by mid-2011 and for smart grids and meters by the end of 2012.

The thorny issue of EU funding for cross-border energy infrastructure links, with net payers to the EU budget such as Germany keen on having just the private sector footing that bill, has been postponed until June, when the EU commission is due to come up with a list of projects which are "justified from a security of supply/solidarity perspective, but are unable to attract enough market-based finance."

In addition to pipelines and new foreign suppliers, "Europe's potential for sustainable extraction and use of conventional and unconventional (shale gas and oil shale) fossil fuel resources should be assessed."

Energy efficiency targets, "presently not on track", are also flagged up. The EU last year signed up to boost up its energy efficiency by 20 percent by 2020, for instance by streamlining standards for energy savings of buildings, transport and industrial processes.

"As of 1 January 2012, all Member States should include energy efficiency standards taking account of the EU headline target in public procurement for relevant public buildings and services," the EU document reads.

On the external dimension of energy policy, EU member states are to inform the commission from 1 January 2012 "on all their new and existing bilateral energy agreements" with foreign countries.

"The commission will make this information available to all other member states in an appropriate form, having regard to the need for protection of commercially sensitive information. The high representative is invited to take fully account of the energy security dimension in her work. Energy security should also be fully reflected in the EU's neighbourhood policy," EU leaders say.

Regarding Russia, accounting for up to 90 percent of the gas supplies in some eastern European member states, "work should be taken forward as early as possible to develop a reliable, transparent and rules based partnership with Russia in areas of common interest in the field of energy and as part of the negotiations on the post-Partnership and Co-operation Agreement process."

EU climate change commissioner Connie Hedegaard welcomed the agreement and said it sends a very clear signal, that in spite of the economic crisis "there is a strong will to deliver on key tools to speed up Europe's transition into a resource-efficient, low-carbon society."

EU Commission extends borrowing curbs in 2023

The European Commission on Monday proposed to extend suspension of fiscal borrowing rule in 2023 — but advised prudence amid already rising real interest rates.

Commission grilled on RePowerEU €210bn pricetag

EU leaders unveiled a €210bn strategy aiming to cut Russian gas out of the European energy equation before 2027 and by two-thirds before the end of the year — but questions remain on how it is to be financed.

MEPs raise ambition on EU carbon market reform

MEPs on the environment committee agreed on reform of the European carbon market — including expanding it to buildings and transport. They also want to extend the scope of the carbon border tax, and phase out free permits by 2030.

EU countries rush to expand gas import capacity

EU plans to quit Russian gas and replace it, in part, by importing overseas liquified natural gas has lead to a flurry of new gas projects — which threaten to lock in unnecessary gas use for decades.

Commission grilled on RePowerEU €210bn pricetag

EU leaders unveiled a €210bn strategy aiming to cut Russian gas out of the European energy equation before 2027 and by two-thirds before the end of the year — but questions remain on how it is to be financed.

News in Brief

  1. Dutch journalists sue EU over banned Russia TV channels
  2. EU holding €23bn of Russian bank reserves
  3. Russia speeds up passport process in occupied Ukraine
  4. Palestinian civil society denounce Metsola's Israel visit
  5. Johnson refuses to resign after Downing Street parties report
  6. EU border police has over 2,000 agents deployed
  7. Dutch tax authorities to admit to institutional racism
  8. Rutte calls for EU pension and labour reforms

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic delegation visits Nordic Bridges in Canada
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersClear to proceed - green shipping corridors in the Nordic Region
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic ministers agree on international climate commitments
  4. UNESDA - SOFT DRINKS EUROPEEfficient waste collection schemes, closed-loop recycling and access to recycled content are crucial to transition to a circular economy in Europe
  5. UiPathNo digital future for the EU without Intelligent Automation? Online briefing Link

Latest News

  1. EU summit will be 'unwavering' on arms for Ukraine
  2. Orbán's new state of emergency under fire
  3. EU parliament prevaricates on barring Russian lobbyists
  4. Ukraine lawyer enlists EU watchdog against Russian oil
  5. Right of Reply: Hungarian government
  6. When Reagan met Gorbachev — a history lesson for Putin
  7. Orbán oil veto to deface EU summit on Ukraine
  8. France aims for EU minimum-tax deal in June

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us