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Current topics in the area of energy during the Slovenian EU Presidency


Electricity and Gas Internal Market

A working, open and transparent internal EU energy market is of key importance for national economies and the reliability of supply and attainment of sustainable energy objectives. In September 2007, the Commission proposed two Directives and three Regulations for the electricity and gas internal market. Several measures were proposed:

  • proprietary separation: effective separation of supply and production services from network services, to be based on independently managed and appropriately regulated network operation systems (such a measure would provide equivalent and free access to transport infrastructure and independent decision-making on investments in infrastructure);
  • further coordination of authorisations and strengthening the independence of the national regulatory energy authorities;
  • setting up an independent mechanism that will facilitate  cooperation and adoption of decisions on important cross-border issues by the national regulatory authorities;
  • forming a new Community mechanism for operators of transmission and distribution networks that will improve coordination of operation and safety of networks on the  basis of existing cooperation practices;
  • a more effective and more integrated system of cross-border trading in electricity and operation of networks, including the elaboration of technical standards;
  • strengthening competitiveness and the reliability of supply by accelerated integration of new electric power plants into the electrical grid in all Member States, particularly through incentives aimed at new suppliers in the market;
  • appropriate messages for investment that contribute to the effective and safer operation of the transmission and distribution network;
  • establishing greater transparency of activity in the energy market;
  • better consumer protection.

The Republic of Slovenia will continue to discuss the legislative proposals within the framework of the Transport, Telecommunications and Energy Council.


Renewable energy sources

The Renewable Energy Framework Directive is to be put forward in January 2008 as part of the energy legislation package.  Furthermore, the package is to include the proposal for a review of the EU ETS Directive and the proposal for the distribution of efforts (national shares) to meet the 20% greenhouse gas reduction target by 2020. The Framework Directive will also contain national shares for meeting the 20% renewable energy target for final consumption at the EU-level and the 10% target for biofuels, as well as proposals for incentive schemes.

Slovenia will discuss the energy and climate change package in the Environment Council and the Transport, Telecommunication and Energy Council.


Strategic Energy Technology Plan:

On 22 November 2007, the Commission submitted the Strategic Energy Technology Plan (SET-Plan). The essence of the communication is to promote the new technologies required for achieving a sustainable energy policy for Europe.

Slovenia is aware of the vital importance of the SET-Plan with a view to:

  • addressing climate change and, consequently, achieving the post-Kyoto targets;
  • achieving goals in the field of renewable energy and energy efficiency set up by the conclusions of the 2007 spring European Council;
  • achieving sustainable energy, since the SET-Plan covers all energy fields from renewable to atomic energy and from the production of energy to its final consumption;
  • changing the current practice in managing energy so as to encourage economic growth and competitiveness through knowledge and technologies.

In the Transport, Telecommunication and Energy Council, Slovenia will adopt ministerial conclusions providing the basis for the discussion to be held by the Heads of State and Government at the spring European Council. The Council will, on the basis of the term of office of 2007, adopt the SET-Plan.


External energy policy

As regards external energy policy, Slovenia supports the unanimous vote of the EU and will, in this respect, make further efforts during the Presidency.  During the Slovenian Presidency, ongoing international activities in the energy field will continue:

  • energy dialogue with Russia;
  • strengthening relations between the EU and Central Asia, Caspian Sea and Black Sea regions, to ensure even more diversified sources and paths;
  • building partnerships and cooperation through bilateral dialogue on energy with the USA, as well as with China, India, Brazil and other fast-growing economies, placing particular emphasis on the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, energy efficiency, renewable energy and energy technology with lower emissions, and above all on technologies for capturing and storing carbon;
  • use of the instruments available under  the European Neighbourhood Policy;
  • enhancing energy relations with Algeria, Egypt and other producing countries in the Mashreq/Maghreb region;
  • development of a special energy dialogue with African countries, use of Community instruments in order to improve access, notably to the decentralised energy produced from renewable energy sources and energy in general and the improvement of sustainable development in this region and energy infrastructure of common interest;
  • promotion of energy accessibility within the framework of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development.


Energy Community

Slovenia is convinced that achievement of the goals set by the Energy Policy for Europe must be closely linked to sustainable and stable energy policy in neighbouring regions. In accordance with its priorities during the Presidency, Slovenia will closely monitor activities within the Energy Community Treaty. Cooperation with neighbouring regions is of key importance to achieve sustainable energy targets within and outside the EU. The EU must act with responsibility and set an example for neighbouring countries, urging them to commit to the fulfilment of energy-environmental targets and to the fight against climate change.

Effective implementation of the provisions of the Energy Community Treaty is thus of key importance for achieving a sustainable energy policy in the Western Balkans.


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Date: 31.12.2007