#eu2016sk agendas


Slovakia will chair Council meetings during the second half of 2016. Here at-a-glance are the dates and draft agendas for the ministerial sessions.

Environment Council

  • 17 October: Luxembourg
    • Non-ETS legislative proposals: policy debate (web-streamed)
    • UN climate meetings, Marrakech: conclusions
    • UN biodiversity meetings, Cancun: conclusions
    • Water policy: conclusions
    • A.O.B: CITIES, nature law, transport
  • 19 December: Brussels
    • ETS legislative proposal: poss. general approach
    • Waste package (4-parts): progress report
    • Updates on international meetings x4

Energy Council

  • 5 December: Brussels
    • Energy efficiency package (two proposals): policy debate
    • External relations: exchange of views
    • AOB: Updates on other matters (see list in source doc)

Source document: Provisional Council agendas during the Slovak presidency.

Informal meetings

Environment and energy ministers will also hold back-to-back informal meetings in Bratislava on 11-13 July. eu2016.sk/en

Outline agenda

  • Monday 11 July : Water
  • Tuesday 12 July (morning): Climate international
  • Tuesday 12 July (afternoon): Joint session with energy ministers
    • financing
    • governance
  • Wednesday 13 July: Energy only

Documents (environment part)


EU Energy Diplomacy Plan


Update 2.45pm: It has been pointed out to me that the June EEAS text was in fact rejected by Council delegations and subsequently re-written. The final July version can be found in an annex to Council conclusions on energy diplomacy, link below.

The 22 June Foreign Affairs Council endorsed an Energy Diplomacy Action Plan, which however still remains unpublished. In the interests of transparency, I post the 2.5 page text here. Also on 20 July, the same group of EU ministers drew conclusions on both energy and climate diplomacy. These documents are public via:


Council conclusions to say nothing new

asleep (1)

On 9 December EU energy ministers will agree further conclusions on the internal energy market. Based on a collection of passive verbs, the final text was agreed in advance by deputy perm reps in Coreper-1 this week and so all that remain to be done is for ministers to show-up and slap each other on the back for the cameras.

Council conclusions are rarely translated, never indexed, never published in the Official Journal and as such are usually forgotten about within a few months if not sooner. But before this latest text is forgotten, it’s worth checking if it says anything new of note.

I’ve checked, and it doesn’t.

What’s next?

At-a-glance: Italy Council agendas


Lasting until end 2014, the Italian presidency of the EU Council of Ministers follows a familiar pattern. The main meetings and main agenda points at each are listed below, based on a longer Council source document here.

Informal ENERGY Council, 6 October, Italy

  • Agendas for informal Council meetings are not published in advance. Italian presidency website here. The informal Environment Council was on 16-17 July.


  • 2030 framework

ENVIRONMENT Council, 28 October, Luxembourg

  • Climate UNFCCC COP21 Lima – conclusions
  • Greening European Semester & Europe 2020 strategy – Exchange views/conclusions
  • (AOB) 2030 framework – follow-up to EUCO 23-24 Oct

ENERGY Council, 9 December, Brussels

  • 2030 framework – policy debate
  • Internal Energy Market – conclusions
  • Europe 2020 – mid-term review
  • External relations – info from presidency & EC

ENVIRONMENT Council, 17 December, Brussels

  • Maritime MRV Regulation – political agreement
  • Waste Package – orientation debate
  • Post-2015 Development Agenda – public debate
  • (poss) Plastic Bags Directive – political agreement
  • (poss) Medium Combustion Plants Directive – general approval
  • AOB – NEC Directive – International – Incoming Presidency

At-a-glance: #EUCO read-out

van rompuy

Key outcomes from the #EUCO informal yesterday are:

  • EUCO mandated HVR to consult with EP on new EC president
  • Guidelines on future priorities and strategic agenda to be discussed further at June meeting, based on a forthcoming HVR proposals paper. These include, among six areas:
    • “a strong response to the climate change challenge, a determined push towards an energy union and a push for lessening energy dependency.”
    • “continue to strengthen the Union’s external action” 
  • Ukraine elections outcome welcomed
  • Solidarity with Balkan states after severe floods
  • Barosso internal market warning (cf. Bulgaria & South Stream)






Council transparency: before & after

Coreper II

After the 2011 Fukushima disaster, which exposed collusion and incompetence among regulators and regulated, you’d expect that more transparent, accountable governance regimes for important issues such as nuclear safety could not be in question.

Not so in the EU Council of Ministers which until a few months ago still refused to reveal which delegations were adopting what positions during negotiations on new framework laws. Not any more.

Thanks to a key legal victory last year by Access Info Europe, the Council cannot systematically withhold such information from publicly accessible documents. The following example shows the difference this can make.

Before and After

click on image for larger version

In January, I ask the Council for access to the notes of its working group discussions on a revision of the nuclear safety directive prompted by the tragedy in Japan.

Due to an administrative error, the secretariat first replied under the old rules, as you see above left, blocking out the names of delegations by the positions they were taking.

On appeal however, and based on the judgement in the the Access Info case, the Council had no choice but to correct its earlier mistake, so providing official public access to the the same text in an uncensored format, as shown on right above.

Transparency matters for the public credibility of Europe in general as well as in individual policy areas decisions. What EU institutions do or don’t do in our names is only accountable if knowing who did what at key moments is not opaque.

For reinforcing that principle, and for its success in the Court of Justice, Access Info team deserves full recognition and credit. You can find, follow and support them here.