Climate, energy and the quality of aira- these three large and inextricably linked dossiers will be at the heart of the Slovenian Presidency's action plan driven by a tight international schedule: the negotiations on the fight against climate change and the desire to establish a 'post-Kyoto framework by 2009. Slovenia also intends to maintain the pressure on the 'biodiversity' question even though at present there is no legislative text on the table.


On 23 January 2008, the European Commission will present four proposals that are intended to convert the commitments undertaken by heads of state during the March 2007 European Council as part of the 'energy-climate package' into concrete actions. The challenge facing the Slovenian Presidency is to launch the decision-making process, both at a technical and political level, and to ensure that it progresses sufficiently so that political agreement can be reached under the French Presidency. Experts have pointed out that, ideally, the final decision will be reached by June 2009, ie before the next European elections.

The Presidency intends to treat four proposals together: a revised directive on the European Emission Trading Scheme; "shared responsibility" between member states in helping to achieve the global objective of 20% reduction in CO2 emissions compared with 1990 levels by 2020; a directive on renewable energy in order to increase the share of renewable energy to 20% of total energy consumption and at least 10% of total biofuel consumption by 2020; and finally a legislative proposal for carbon capture and storage. In terms of procedures, although each of the dossiers will be treated separately by the Council's 'energy' and 'environment' expert groups, the Presidency intends to reach an agreement on the package as a whole.

This programme is not likely to change, irrespective of the consequences of the recent Bali conference on climate change. At most, it will be necessary to adapt certain elements within these proposals. Slovenian experts have stressed the need to make the most of the momentum created by Bali to make rapid progress both on domestic and international levels. And more than ever, it is important for the EU to establish itself as the leader. The Presidency will have very little time between 23 January and the spring European Council (13-14 March) to prepare guidelines for EU leaders.

Other dossiers which the Presidency will treat include proposals for directives on...

To continue reading

Request your trial

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT