In a public session in Luxembourg, the Council took note of a presidency progress report on a draft regulation on guidelines for trans-European energy infrastructure.

The progress report outlines the state of play on this proposal, after its examination under the Danish presidency in the Council energy working party, focusing in particular on Chapters II (projects of common interest) and IV (regulatory treatment) and the related annexes.

The proposal is intended to help the EU deliver the huge investments in energy infrastructure required to replace ageing infrastructure, to ensure security of supply, to make the transition to a low-carbon economy and to complete the internal energy market. The aim is to overhaul the existing trans-European energy networks (TEN-E) policy and financing framework in order to improve it and adapt it to the current challenges facing the energy sector and to general EU energy policy goals. The proposal would give priority to twelve strategic trans-European energy corridors and areas and addresses in particular the selection of projects of common interest, the streamlining of authorisation procedures and cost-allocation rules.

The Commission presented its proposal in October, following the call by the European Council in February 2011.

The EU funding related to this regulation is to be negotiated in the context of the “ConnectingEurope Facility” financing instrument relating to the next multiannual financial framework (2014-2020). The Commission presented this proposal in June 2011 with the aim of promoting the completion of priority energy, transport and digital infrastructures with a single fund of EUR 40billion, of which EUR 9.1 billion is allocated to energy infrastructure. The Council agreed on a partial general approach on this proposal at its meeting of 7 June. The draft regulation determines the conditions, methods and procedures for the Union’s financial contribution to TEN projects, while the development strategies, priorities and implementation measures for each of the sectors are defined in sector-specific policy guidelines which will be adopted separately.