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News in Brief, BB200707

Portuguese Presidency to Make Energy a Priority

12.07.2007

Portugal took over the presidency of the EU from Germany on 1 July and has announced the priorities it will seek to take forward during its tenure. Completing the internal EU gas and power market, promoting renewables, and commencing work on a European strategic energy technology plan will be the top three priorities for energy.

These announced priorities coincide with the European Commission plans to propose a number of EU energy laws later this year. These include measures on the internal energy market, the new renewables framework law setting out each of the 27 EU Member States’ overall national share of the 20% target, and the European strategic energy technology plan to be published ahead of the European Council next spring.

One environmental priority of the new presidency is climate change, which it describes as “one of the great environmental challenges of our century.” The Portuguese have stated that they will continue the German presidency’s approach of integrating climate and energy policies in order to achieve the objective of GHG emissions reduction and energy security. In order to achieve this, the presidency will “follow on this package in terms of starting its development and implementation in such areas as renewable energies, biofuels and aviation in the EU emissions trading scheme.”

Under the Portuguese presidency energy councils will be held on 1/2 October and 29/30 November and environment councils will be held on 30 October and 17 December.

Further information on the Portuguese Presidency can be found at their website http://www.eu2007.pt/UE/aPT/

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