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Document 31996Y0801(01)

Council Resolution of 8 July 1996 on the White Paper 'An energy policy for the European Union'

OJ C 224, 1.8.1996, p. 1–2 (ES, DA, DE, EL, EN, FR, IT, NL, PT, FI, SV)

In force


Council Resolution of 8 July 1996 on the White Paper 'An energy policy for the European Union'

Official Journal C 224 , 01/08/1996 P. 0001 - 0002


of 8 July 1996

on the White Paper 'An energy policy for the European Union`

(96/C 224/01)


Having regard to the Council resolution of 23 November 1995 on the Green Paper 'For a European Union energy policy` (1),

Having regard to the analysis of the energy sector contained in the 'European energy to 2020 - A scenario approach`,

Having regard to the Commission's White Paper 'An energy policy for the European Union` of 13 December 1995,

Having regard to the Commission's White Paper on growth, competitiveness and employment,

Having regard to the Commission's fifth environmental action programme 'Towards sustainability`,

Whereas the energy sector has a key role in the overall efforts of the Community to improve its industrial competitiveness, security of supply, economic and social development on a sustainable basis and the quality of life of its citizens, taking into account the obligations deriving from the Framework Convention on Climate Change;

Whereas the satisfactory integration of energy policy with other relevant policies must constitute a part of the Communities' general economic aims;

Whereas the Communities, in accordance with the provisions of the Treaties establishing them and without prejudice to Declaration No 1 to the Final Act of the Treaty on European Union, must respond to the important challenges of the energy sector using their existing instruments and by ensuring at Community level the consistency of the energy policies and choices of Member States around agreed objectives, as identified in the resolution of 23 November 1995;

Whereas energy policy must be framed in the context of the long-term economic prospects for the energy sector and the political risk with regard to external supplies and markets; whereas there is a need for flexibility and adaptability in defining and implementing an energy policy at Community level;

Whereas the safeguarding and improving of secure energy supplies under economically acceptable conditions remains a key objective of Community energy policy;

Whereas an energy policy framework needs to be elaborated in accordance with the principle of an open market with free competition which takes into account the diverse market structures and the aspects relating to the provision of services of general economic interest in accordance with Article 90 of the Treaty establishing the European Community;

Whereas energy developments in the Community are increasingly influenced by external developments and efforts must therefore be made to ensure that the Community develops a coherent and consistent approach to energy matters with third countries;

Whereas energy policy initiatives and the Community's environmental objectives need to be consistent and take into account the various instruments available;

Whereas energy efficient technologies, energy efficiency and conservation practices, along with development of indigenous and renewable energy sources, need to be fully developed aiming at long-term cost-effectiveness and to be promoted through the use of all Community instruments and in cooperation with initiatives taken at national level;

Whereas social and economic cohesion, in particular in the less-developed regions of the Community, can be improved by the implementation of sustainable energy policy solutions,

1. VIEWS with satisfaction the wide and transparent consultations with Member States' energy administrations and the organizations representing energy suppliers and consumers in the Community on the basis of the Green Paper and CALLS ON the Commission to continue this process of consultation in a Community energy policy framework;

2. WELCOMES the White Paper 'An energy policy for the European Union` as a useful basis for further work in view of the fact that it endorses the necessity of reconciling the objectives of competitiveness, security of supply and protection of the environment taking into account the principle of subsidiarity and economic and social cohesion;

3. CONSIDERS that the possible accomplishment of Community objectives requires the use of all the instruments available in the Treaties. This involves, inter alia:

- the improvement of the functioning of the internal energy market, in particular the completion of the internal electricity and gas market,

- respect for the general principles of competition, as well as, wherever they exist and according to the conditions established by the Treaty establishing the European Community, the services of general economic interest,

- the definition of standardization programmes to promote energy efficiency and new and renewable sources of energy,

- a consistent approach in the environmental field,

- the development of trans-European networks,

- the setting of energy priorities in future research programmes,

- the establishment of a consistent approach as regards external relations,

- a more coherent definition of programmes for energy efficiency and new and renewable sources of energy, to allow for more effective use of budgetary means;

4. CONSIDERS that the agreed common energy objectives identified in the resolution of 23 November 1995 should be implemented at Community level and INVITES the Commission to put in place a process of cooperation between the Community and Member States in order to ensure that Community and national energy policies are compatible with these objectives;

5. BELIEVES that energy decision-making at Community level needs to be placed in the context of a shared analysis of the energy situation and of future trends and INVITES the Commission to organize cooperation between Member States on energy studies, as called for in the resolution of 23 November 1995;

6. CONSIDERS that the promotion of new and renewable energies and energy efficiency can make a valuable contribution to a safer and healthier environment and, together with the development of indigenous sources, reduce the Community's energy dependency on external sources and contribute to economic growth and employment;

7. BELIEVES that the opening up of the internal energy market and environmental issues related to energy require transparency of economic indicators and INVITES the Commission to report on the effectiveness of measures in force for ensuring transparency and, if necessary, on how they could be improved;

8. SUPPORTS the Commission's idea for strengthening the transparency of actions in the energy field through the periodic publication of a report on the development of energy policy at Community level in relation to agreed energy objectives;

9. REQUESTS the Commission to present proposals from the indicative work programme on the basis of the Treaties and allocation of powers.

(1) OJ No C 327, 7. 12. 1995, p. 3.