After numerous presidencies where energy was a top priority, both in terms of commitment and action, Spain's six-month tenure may see a return to a more technical approach. On the agenda will be final adoption of three packages of measures on energy efficiency left over from the Swedish Presidency: the proposed directives on the energy performance of buildings, energy labelling and tyre labelling for fuel efficiency. Discussion may start on a revised action plan for energy efficiency, originally promised by the Commission for November 2009. However, the proposal may be further delayed.

The real centre-piece for the Spanish Presidency, though, will be two measures on security of gas supply and energy investment reporting. With memories fading of the gas crisis in January 2009, member states appear increasingly critical of both proposals. The Commission has been attacked for claiming excessive powers in crisis management and prevention in its July 2009 proposal on security of gas supply. The Presidency will also aim for more clarification on the complicated N-1 standard for the security of gas supply.

In achieving political agreement on both pieces of legislation, Spain will have to deal not least of all with member states' concerns over national sovereignty and the need to protect the confidentiality of the company information requested by the Commission. For both proposals, the Spaniards will have to positively channel member states' reticence when it comes to the "added" value of the Commission's proposal and fears of any extra administrative burdens. The European Parliament shares many of these concerns.

As for the Commission's proposal for a Council Regulation setting notification requirements for energy investment projects, various reporting obligations now exist aside from the current Regulation (736/96). Additionally, ten-year gas and electricity network development plans are being prepared under the third internal energy market package. All this may mean less support by member states for the Commission's proposal aimed at gaining a better overview of energy infrastructure investment trends in the EU.

Renewed Energy Policy for Europe

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