The Committee of Permanent Representatives (Coreper I) endorsed today, Friday November 30, the outcome of the trilogue held on November 27, 2012, on the Regulation on Guidelines for a trans-European energy infrastructure. The Cyprus Presidency, together with the European Parliament (EP) and the European Commission, on November 27, had achieved a political agreement on the proposed Regulation.
The new regulatory framework will safeguard the timely development of key infrastructures - the so called ‘projects of common interest’- through close regional cooperation of Member States, accelerated and transparent permit granting procedures and cross-border cost allocation rules. It will also provide for the eligibility of these projects for Union financial assistance under the proposed ‘Connecting Europe’ Facility.
The Cyprus Presidency had set the proposed regulation as its main priority in energy and recognising the urgency for its adoption -something that the European Council had repeatedly called for- aimed at reaching a first reading agreement with the EP by the end of the year.
This regulation is one of the priorities of the Single Market Act I and its adoption will be vital to promoting growth, employment and sustainable development. Energy infrastructures are also vital to complete the internal energy market, to eliminate energy isolation, to guarantee security of supply and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by increasing the share of renewable energy but also to prepare the Union’s energy system for the longer term towards 2050.
Leading the negotiations on behalf of the Council, the Cyprus Presidency held several technical meetings and three trilogues with the EP and pursued common solutions, especially on the difficult issues such as the permit granting process and the operational coordination of Transmission System Operators. General satisfaction was expressed at the final trilogue for the ambitious, but at the same time well-balanced, agreement. New momentum is now created for the development of much-needed energy infrastructure.
To enter into force, the agreement still needs the formal approval by the Council and the European Parliament. The approval of the Council will follow the plenary vote in the European Parliament early 2013.