HC Deb 06 June 1991 vol 192 cc269-70W
Mr. Flynn

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy if he will make a statement on issues discussed and decisions taken at the European Energy Council meeting in Brussels on 31 May.

Mr. Wakeham

The Council adopted the directive on transit of gas, concluding the package of proposals introduced by the Commission in July 1989 as a first step towards liberalising the Community's energy market. The United Kingdom fully supports that process and looks forward to the introduction of further measures by the Commission to increase competition and open markets in energy.

In the field of energy efficiency, a political agreement was reached on the SAVE programme, which the Commission introduced at the Energy Council in October 1990. SAVE is intended to provide a framework for co-ordinating member states' own programmes of efficient energy use. The way is now clear, once the European Parliament has given its opinion, to adopt the decision.

The Council also considered the Commission's proposals on oil crisis measures and contingency oil stocks. The Council recognised that the Community's existing provisions needed review, but did not agree that the Commission's proposals were appropriate, especially in relation to the International Energy Agency. The Commission will reconsider its proposals.

The Council also briefly discussed the proposed European energy charter.