Thursday, 16 October 2008

An agreement of sorts...until December

Having unpacked my case from Brussels late last night I’ve now repacked the case and headed to Perth via Edinburgh. But first of all I needed to see what had been agreed at the European Council. We had already been sent a copy of the draft conclusions so I knew roughly what was likely to be agreed regarding an EU-wide response to the banking crisis.

With the climate change package, in the end EU leaders confirmed the EU’s climate change objectives and agreed their determination to sign the climate change package at the European Council meeting in December 2008.
The conclusions state that the European Council in December will “decide on appropriate responses to the challenge of applying that package in a rigorously established cost effective manner to all sectors of the European economy and all Member States, having regard to each Member State’s specific situation”.

How far the rules will be watered down to enable concessions to be made remains to be seen but it is up to us to resist any pressure for the EU ETS to be weakened further, and it is this point that I hope to make tomorrow with the topical resolution that has been submitted by the Cromarty Firth Branch.

The Parliament is also set to vote on the climate change package in December so there will be a flurry between now and then to ensure the strong positions adopted by both the Energy Committee and the Environment Committee are maintained in the negotiations with EU ministers in the Council.

If you want to read a post-Summit analysis which deals more on the financial rescue package which the European Council managed to reach an agreement on, its worth having a look at the 4 page brief put together by the
European Policy Centre in Brussels.

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