EU Leaders Focus on Energy

4 February 2011: The European Council gathered Heads of State and Government of the EU member States on 4 February 2011, in Brussels, Belgium, to discuss energy and innovation as part of the EU 2020 Strategy on smart, sustainable and inclusive growth in the EU.

The European Council underscored that a fully functioning, interconnected and integrated internal energy market should be completed by 2014 so as to allow gas and electricity to flow freely. The European Council also renewed commitments towards the 20% energy efficiency target by 2020, noting that the EU is presently not on track to reach it. It proposed that, as of 1 January 2012, all member States should include energy efficiency standards taking account of the EU target in public procurement for relevant public buildings and services. The European Council stressed that the EU and its member States will promote investment in renewables as well as safe and sustainable low-carbon technologies.

The European Council also emphasized that the EU should: take initiatives in the relevant international fora; develop mutually beneficial energy partnerships with key players and around strategic corridors, covering safe and sustainable low-carbon technologies, energy efficiency, investment environment maintaining and promoting the highest standards for nuclear safety; and encourage neighboring countries to embrace its relevant internal energy market rules. [European Council's Conclusions]