On 18 October the tenth Energy Community Ministerial Council took place in Budva in Montenegro, the country currently holding the Presidency. The meeting was chaired by the Montenegrin Minister of Economy Vladimir Kavaric and Commissioner Günther Oettinger. The main items on the agenda included the Energy Strategy, the Directive on Renewables, and the appointment of Janez Kopač as next Director of the Energy Community Secretariat.
Günther Oettinger said: "This proposal will give new incentives for best-performing biofuels. In the future, biofuels will be saving more substantial greenhouse gas emissions and reduce our fuel import bill."
Commissioner Oettinger travelled to Romania on 16 October to inaugurate a gas-fired combined cycle power plant in Brazi. The plant will contribute to the diversification and energy security in the region, providing up to 9% of the electricity produced in the country. At the official opening ceremony he stated: "Romania has made a lot of progress this year to reform its energy sector and to integrate the country in the European single market. Price regulation has been reformed trying to achieve a fair balance between the protection of consumers and incentives for businesses to make the necessary investments in new generation. It is crucial that these efforts are maintained and where possible even stepped up so as to ensure full compatibility with the single market."
Commissioner Oettinger during his visit also met Romanian Prime Minister Ponta and Rodin Traicu, Secretary of State in the Ministry of Economy, Commerce and Business Environment.
On 10 October, Commissioner Oettinger welcomed the adoption of the 2012 Industrial Policy Communication Update and its target of boosting the weight of industry in Europe from its current level of around 16 % of GDP to 20 % by 2020. While calling for a proactive European industrial policy, he stressed that this objective can be met only in the presence of a performing pan-European energy infrastructure, a functioning internal market for gas and electricity and competitive energy prices. Energy costs are a crucial competitiveness factor. European energy prices are among the highest in the world and are still increasing.
Günther Oettinger said: "The stress tests have revealed where we are good at and where we need to improve. The tests were serious, and they were a success. Generally, the situation is satisfactory but there is no room for complacency. All authorities involved must work to ensure that the highest safety standards are in force in every single nuclear power plant in Europe. For the safety of our citizens".
On 4 October the Council endorsed the political agreement on the Energy Efficiency Directive. It also adopted the decision establishing an information exchange mechanism for intergovernmental agreements between Member States and third countries in the field of energy.
Commissioner Oettinger travelled to Paris on 1 October to meet some key energy players and discuss the links between the EU's and France's energy policy priorities. After meeting Environment and Energy Minister Delphine Batho, he saw Dominique Maillard the CEO of RTE, the French power transmission systems operator, and Marc Coroler from Schneider Electric. The programme also included a working lunch with EDF's top management and the heads of their European subsidiaries.