The Energy Council took place on 11 June in Luxembourg. The UK was represented by the Deputy Permanent Representative, UKREP.
The Council adopted a General Approach on the Regulation on the Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators. There were no formal objections to the text but a number of Member States, including the UK, expressed the view that the role of the Director of the Agency should not be weakened.
The Presidency updated Council on progress on the Renewables Directive, Energy Efficiency Directive and Energy Union Governance Regulation, on all of which it hoped to reach deals with the European Parliament by the end of its Presidency. Some Member States called for higher ambition on the level of the 2030 EU targets for renewable energy and energy efficiency. Others indicated that they would consider raising the targets beyond the existing Council position but only in exchange for remaining very close to the Council position on other, sector-specific measures within the Directives. Other Member States expressed reluctance to move above the original Council agreed position of 27% on renewables and 30% on energy efficiency. The UK stressed that it was highly ambitious on climate mitigation but thought it essential Member States be given enough flexibility to deliver this cost-effectively. The Presidency concluded that the Council had taken note of the state of play.
The Commission provided Council with an update on its activities in relation to external energy policy, focusing on its discussions with Iran. Some Member States, including the UK, expressed their desire to see quicker progress on the Gas Directive and to start discussions at the political level, though others disagreed.
The Council concluded after the Austrian delegation presented the priorities for their forthcoming Presidency. These would include progressing negotiations with the Parliament on the remaining parts of the clean energy package, a focus on innovative energy technologies, and their plans to bring together international organisations to strengthen dialogue on energy security.
This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: