November Energy Council
On Monday 29 November 2004, Energy Council reached
a political agreement on the Draft Directive on security of electricity
supply and infrastructure investment, which was first submitted
by the Commission to the Parliament and Council in December 2003.
The proposal's primary objective is to ensure
that Member States develop an effective policy for guaranteeing
security of electricity supply and to promote extra electricity
capacity, something that previous Directives failed to do.
At the same time, it allows Member States considerable
flexibility when deciding what final form the policy should take.
The European Parliament voiced its doubts about
whether the proposal would provide added value compared to existing
legislation, and released a Working Document asking the Commission
a number of key questions. So far, no answers have been received.
The Council found the proposal's central objective
of promoting efficient management of supply and demand in the
internal market acceptable, but thought the measures proposed
to achieve it were too complex and controversial. So, under the
impetus of the Dutch Presidency, Council made significant amendments
to the Commission's Proposal. These amendments, which were agreed
at the Energy Council of 29 November 2004, aim to reduce the Commission's
power on decisions regarding
infrastructure and investments.
While the Energy Council was going on, a public
hearing organised by the Parliament's ITRE Committee also took
place. During the hearing, energy experts generally agreed with
the Council's conclusions, but official reactions from MEPs will
be articulated in a new Working Document to be released in 2 or
3 months. This document will take into account the comments made
by all participants in the public hearing.
For more details concerning the November Energy
Council and subsequent Energy Committee Meetings, you can surf
the Dutch Presidency website on http://www.eu2004.nl