Correspondent's Choice

This story about Hungary’s energy summit was published on 14th December 2010 by EurActiv.

Hungary plans to concentrate on the big picture of EU energy policy as it takes on the EU’s rotating presidency in January. Energy will feature prominently at the new presidency’s first EU summit on 4 February.

At the February summit, EU heads of state and government are to discuss the functioning of the European energy market.

Issues on the table will include energy infrastructure, promoting innovative energy technologies and coordinating the EU’s energy policy towards third countries.

The meeting, which has already been dubbed an ‘Energy Summit’, will also include innovation aspects as concerns mount in Europe over growing competition from China on clean energy. Any urgent items could be added later on.

Defining strategies

Energy will also keep the Hungarian Presidency busy earlier in the year as it wants EU energy ministers to adopt joint conclusions on two major strategic documents when they meet on 28 February.

These are the EU’s ‘Energy 2020’ strategy, which sets energy priorities for the next decade, and its energy infrastructure priorities for 2020 and beyond. Both were presented by the European Commission in November, and Hungary plans to kickstart discussions among member states in January in order to endorse the priorities in February.

Another important strategy-setting document that Hungary will drive forward is the EU’s updated Energy Efficiency Action Plan, which the Commission will present in early March. The presidency hopes to endorse its recommendations at the second formal meeting of energy ministers in June.

The flow of medium-term strategies will be complemented with the start of discussions on the EU’s 2050 energy roadmap.

The Commission is not expected to publish the document until autumn 2011, but the Hungarian Presidency intends to collect input from member states to channel it into the drafting process. This will be done at an informal ministerial meeting in Budapest on 2-3 May, where ministers are scheduled to debate a technical paper on various energy demand scenarios.

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