From 1st July to 31st December 2010, it is Belgium's turn to take over the Presidency of the Council of the European Union (EU). This is a real challenge, especially as we now need to take into account the many changes set in place by the
Lisbon Treaty since it came into force on 1st December 2009.
As President of the
Council of the EU, Belgium's role mainly consists of organising and managing the work of each Council configuration through its competent ministers. The Foreign Affairs Council is the only exception to this rule. Since the Treaty of Lisbon entered into force, it has been presided by the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Lady Catherine Ashton.
The Presidency of the Council ensures that the Council runs smoothly, chairs and directs discussions, tries to reconcile divergent points of view and formulates proposals for compromises so that decisions can be taken. The Presidency also plays an important role in negotiations with the other institutions of the Union, especially the European Parliament which, like the Council, has to give its assent to most European legislation.
Energy Priorities of the Belgian Presidency
include the following elements:
Preparing the Energy Action Plan;
A blueprint for a European Energy Infrastructure Plan;
A benchmark report on measures how to make the energy policy more consumer-friendly with a special attention to vulnerable consumers;
Finalising the European Energy Programme for Recovery (EEPR) review;
Energy Efficiency: An Indispensable Tool for Decarbonising European
Evolving by 2050 not only towards a low-carbon economy, but
towards a low-carbon society.
Events scheduled under the Belgian Presidency:
An Informal Energy Council "Fuelling a Secure, Low-Carbon and Affordable Energy Future for Europe" taking place in Brussels, 6-7 September
The following questions will be addressed:
The Formal Energy Council will take place in Brussels, on 2 December.
Other Presidency events include:
The Conference on the Energy Challenges for European Industry in Spa, 16-17 September;
The North Seas Countries' Offshore Grid Conference in Ostend, 6 October;
The Atomium Culture High-Level Workshop "A low-carbon society by 2050" in Brussels, 19-20 October
The SET Plan High-Level Conference in Brussels, 15-16 November;
The Biomass Conference in Brussels, 29 November;
The signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) of the North Seas Countries' Offshore Grid Initiative: Brussels, 1 December.
Website of the Belgian Presidency