UK: Written ministerial statement by Charles Hendry on the agenda for the Energy Council in Brussels

"In advance of the forthcoming Energy Council in Brussels on 14 February, I am writing to outline the agenda items to be discussed. The first substantive item on the agenda will be a debate on the proposal for a Regulation on guidelines for trans-European energy infrastructure. The UK welcomes proposals to reduce investment barriers for energy infrastructure development and to build on best practice to help streamline permitting processes across the Union, particularly for cross-border projects. We recognise that considerable investment in energy infrastructure will be needed between now and 2020 to meet the agreed EU and UK core objectives of competitiveness, sustainability and security of supply as well as meeting the 2020 targets on renewables, energy efficiency and CO2 reduction. However, we have some concerns that in some areas the proposals and time-schedules appear overly prescriptive. The Council will also hold a debate on the Europe 2020 Strategy, which will form the Energy Council’s contribution to the European Semester exercise (the EU initiative to improve economic policy coordination). The Council will consider the contributio...
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