Irish Presidency of the council of the European Union

14 January 2013

The term for the Cypriot President of the Council of the European union ended on 31 December 2012. As of January 1, 2013 there is an Irish Presidency.The programme of the presidency is worth reading and gives you an idea of the most important issues on the table. 

Issues such as safeguarding energy supply through an integrated internal energy market, environmental impact and market deregulation will determine the future of energy vision for Europe. In managing energy negotiations, the Irish Presidency will be mindful of the benefits for jobs, growth and consumers. Increased coordination at EU level can benefit Europe as Member States move away from traditional carbon-based energy sources to alternative sources, especially renewables.

Internal Energy Market:
In November 2012 the European Commission issued a Communication on the Internal Energy Market. The Communication recognized the progress made by Member States on meeting the objective of completing the internal energy market. However, it also highlighted a number of issues which will be tackled urgently so that consumers can realize the full benefits of the internal energy as well as to remove barriers to competition and to enhance security and sustainability of European energy. The Presidency aims to adopt Council Conclusions on the Communication.
 
Sustainability Criteria for Biomass
The Commission is expected to publish a Directive early during the Irish Presidency on sustainability requirements for the use of biomass in electricity, heating and cooling. Ireland will work to advance the proposal and will draft a report on its progress at the June 2013 Energy Council.
 
Notification of Investment in Energy Infrastructure Projects
It is expected that the Irish Presidency will deal with a proposal for annulment of the Council act on
notification of investment in energy infrastructure and replace is with a new legal act based on the
Council and Parliament co-decision process.
 
Directive on Safety of Offshore Oil and Gas Activities
This proposal is aimed at promoting offshore safety following recent disasters and includes provisions to strengthen preparedness and response capacity to deal with emergencies. The President will work on this proposal to secure an early agreement with the European Parliament .
 
Indirect Land Use Change (ILUC)
The proposal for a Directive on Indirect Land Use Change (ILUC) seeks amendments to existing
legislation on the quality of petrol and diesel fuels and on the promotion of the use of energy from
renewable sources. The objective is to initiate a transition to biofuels that deliver substantial greenhouse gas savings while also limiting as much as possible the use of land that would be better used for food crops. The proposal also aims to enhance the reporting of emissions from indirect land-use change. The Presidency, in its Environment and Energy formations, intends to make significant progress on this file.
 
Radiation Protection
High standards of radiation protection are of great importance to the EU. The Presidency will work to
reach agreement on the revision of the Directive setting out Basic Safety Standards for ionizing radiation in order to protect patients, workers, and the public who are subject to exposure. Work will also be carried forward on the proposal to establish a Community system for the registration of carriers of radioactive materials.
 
The Irish Presidency full programme officially released on 9 January 2013: http://www.eu2013.ie/media/eupresidency/content/documents/EU-Pres_Prog_A4.pdf