Energy Council to discuss the new Commission’s energy policy priorities

Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment 4.12.2019 7.29
Press release

The second Energy Council meeting during Finland’s Presidency of the Council of the EU will be held in Brussels on 4 December 2019. The ministers will discuss smart sector integration, national energy and climate plans, and the new Commission’s energy policy priorities for 2019–2024. The meeting will be chaired by Minister of Science and Culture Hanna Kosonen.

The meeting will begin with a discussion of smart sector integration at the EU level. This refers to the coordinated and flexible introduction of clean energy in different sectors of the economy, such as heating, industry and transport.

Sector integration helps to reduce emissions and increases the flexibility of the energy system utilising the existing energy infrastructure. Examples of smart sector integration include the production of district heating with heat pumps, and the production of steel using hydrogen gas. This theme is likely to emerge in the new Commission’s work.

Ministers will also discuss the national energy and climate plans required by the EU Energy Union Governance regulation. These plans will allow the Commission to keep track of progress made in each Member State in achieving the EU’s common energy and climate targets for 2030. The feedback provided by the Commission in June on the Member States’ draft plans suggested that the measures proposed were insufficient to meet the Union’s common targets for renewable energy and energy efficiency. The issue was discussed at length at the September Energy Council.

The Commission will now present its unofficial estimate of the remaining gap, and once more encourages the Member States to propose additional, more ambitious measures. Member States are required to submit their final plans to the Commission by the end of the year.

The energy ministers will also hear a speech by the new Commissioner for Energy Kadri Simson on the Commission’s energy policy priorities for 2019–2024. These will include promoting renewable energy and energy efficiency, promoting clean energy, and investing in clean energy technology. Member States will have the opportunity to comment on the Commission’s priorities.

Under other business, the Commission will provide information on tripartite discussions on the transit of Russian natural gas in Ukraine and on the outlook for security of gas supply in winter 2019–2020. The Commission will also report on the development of external relations in the field of energy. Finland will inform the Council of the political agreement reached on the European Tyre Labelling Regulation, and of the SET-Plan Conference on Energy Technology held in Helsinki. The meeting will close with a presentation by Croatia, the Council Presidency as of 1 January 2020, on its work programme on energy for the following six months. 

Live streaming:
The public sessions of the meeting will be streamed live starting at 10.10 (Finnish time) on 4 December at:  https://video.consilium.europa.eu/fi/webcast/4302bdb3-b3e0-4f4e-96e2-81ee18c21bb7

Inquiries:
Silja Silvasti, Special Adviser to the Minister of of Science and Culture, tel. +358 41 515 2233
Arttu Karila, Special Adviser to the Minister of Economic Affairs, tel. +358 50 341 6615
Riku Huttunen, Director-General, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, tel. +358 50 431 6518
Sanna Ek-Husson, Senior Specialist, Permanent Representation of Finland to the EU, Brussels, tel. +32 470 206 178
Eeva Laavakari, Communications Officer, Permanent Representation of Finland to the EU, Brussels, tel. +32 473 531 340