EU Energy Ministers today confirmed the commitment of Member States towards achieving their national objectives for promoting Renewable Energy Sources (RES) by 2020 and agreed on the need for continuity in political decisions beyond 2020, with a view to 2050. The Commission’s Communication on Renewable Energy of June 6, 2012, and the proposed Regulation for Trans-European Energy Infrastructure topped the agenda of the Informal Meeting of Energy Ministers, at the “Filoxenia” Conference Center in Lefkosia (Nicosia).
The informal meeting, hosted by the Cypriot Minister of Commerce, Industry and Tourism Mr. Neoklis Sylikiotis, who is also responsible for the energy portfolio, is attended by the Energy Ministers of the EU Member States and the European Economic Area, the Commissioner for Energy Mr. Günther Oettinger, Members of the European Parliament and the Director General of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) Mr. Adnan Z. Amin.
Shift towards green growth for a “Better Europe”
The morning plenary session was dedicated exclusively to a roundtable discussion on the Commission’s Communication on Renewable Energy. The aim was to reach a general orientation with regard to the preparation of the Council Conclusions which the Cyprus Presidency intends to put forward for adoption at the Energy Council on December 3.
“As essential aspects to the Conclusions, we propose to include the improvement of support schemes, the strengthening of cooperation and trade in RES, the integration of RES in the internal energy market, the promotion of the necessary infrastructure, the development and strengthening of the cooperation with Mediterranean countries, the promotion of technological innovation and the creation of new jobs”, stressed Mr. Sylikiotis during the press conference which was held jointly with Commissioner Oettinger after the completion of the morning deliberations.
According to Mr. Sylikiotis, the shift towards green growth and the promotion of RES can help to realise both the Cyprus Presidency’s goal for a ‘Better Europe’, as well as the three basic pillars of EU energy policy that call for strengthening the security of energy supply, achieving sustainable growth partly through the reduction of greenhouse emissions and, finally, promoting measures and policies to support growth.
Trans-European Energy Infrastructure for enhanced EU energy security
During the afternoon plenary session, participants will initially be updated on the progress regarding the proposed Regulation on the guidelines for Trans-European Energy Infrastructure. They will then have the opportunity to express their views on certain aspects of the Regulation, within the framework of an orientation debate.
As pointed out by Mr. Sylikiotis, while presenting the afternoon session’s agenda at the press conference, the objective of the Cyprus Presidency is to conclude an agreement on the proposed dossier before the end of the year, given that the Regulation “contributes to the rapid deployment of the energy infrastructure deemed to be of European common interest and, therefore, is vital for stimulating growth, investment and employment”. Additionally, he explained that it is essential for lifting the energy isolation of all Member States and ensuring the EU’s energy security, while also allowing the possibility for the recent hydrocarbon discoveries in the South-Eastern Mediterranean area to contribute to Europe’s energy supply, through the establishment of a new supply corridor.
More information on the results of this afternoon’s plenary session will be included in a press release following completion of the day’s work.
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