The Council and the European Parliament have paved the way for the adoption of the regulation on guidelines for trans-European energy infrastructure.
On 30 November the Permanent Representatives Committee of the Council endorsed the agreement reached with the European Parliament on 27 November 2012. The text was negotiated in trialogue meetings between the Council – represented by the Cyprus presidency – the European Parliament and the European Commission. To enter into force it still needs formal approval in the Parliament (early 2013) and in the Council (after the plenary vote in the Parliament).
The new regulatory framework will help to modernise and expand Europe’s energy infrastructure in order to allow the EU to meet its core energy policy objectives of competitiveness, sustainability and security of supply. This regulation is one of the priorities set under the Single Market Act I, which contains measures to boost the European economy and create jobs. Furthermore, the construction of these infrastructures is of critical importance for the goal set by the February 2011 European Council that no member state should remain isolated from the European gas and electricity networks after 2015, and will contribute to reaching the ambitious EU climate and energy targets for 2020.
The regulation gives priority to twelve strategic trans-European energy corridors and areas. It provides for the identification of projects of common interest necessary to implement them. It lays down provisions for new, more transparent and accelerated permit-granting procedures which will generally not exceed 3 years and 6 months. In addition, the regulation provides rules for possible cross-border allocation of construction costs of infrastructure projects of common interest and determines the conditions for eligibility of these projects for Union financial assistance.the way for the adoption of the regulation on guidelines for trans-European energy infrastructure.