Pat Rabbitte, Ireland's energy and natural resources minister, will not be twiddling his thumbs over the next six months if the list of points on his agenda is anything to go by. "We are all aware that sustainable and secure energy supply is essential to ensure Europe's economic and social development," he said, on 3 December 2012 in Brussels, in the margins of the Energy Council. "In this sense, completing the single market for energy is a priority," he noted.

The Irish minister was referring to the Making the internal energy market work' communication, adopted on 15 November 2012, in which the European Commission identifies the obstacles standing in the way of finalising the single market for energy by 2014. The Irish Presidency plans to organise a debate on this communication during the Energy Council of 22 February. The issue is also due to be on the agenda of an extraordinary European Council devoted to energy, which is scheduled for May.

In terms of legislation, a certain number of files have made considerable headway under the Cyprus Presidency. That is the case in particular for the draft regulation on the safety of drilling at sea and on energy infrastructure, for which negotiations should be concluded in early 2013.


Alongside the file marked single market, Rabbitte plans to made headway on another particularly sensitive file - biofuels. On 17 October 2012, the Commission unveiled a draft directive to take account of the change in land use in the carbon footprint of biofuels (ILUC). The proposal also aims to reduce by half (5%) the introduction of so-called first generation' biofuels in fuels in order to increase the share of renewable energies in transport. To do so, the EU executive plans to amend two directives: one on the quality of fuels (2009/30/EC) and another on renewable energies (2009/28/EC). The proposal, stressed Rabbitte, is important...

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