Strategic EU Objectives in the Areas of Climate Change and Energy Discussed in the Transport, Telecommunications and Energy Council


2019 03 06


On 4th of March, Minister of Energy Žygimantas Vaičiūnas took part in a meeting of the EU Transport, Telecommunications and Energy Council (the TTE Council), where the ministers discussed tackling climate change and relevant issues of the energy sector.

A European Commission’s strategy paper entitled ‘A Clean Planet for all - A European strategic long-term vision for a prosperous, modern, competitive and climate neutral economy’ was presented at the meeting of the TTE Council. The document defines objectives of the EU policy on climate change and energy for the period until 2050. Attainment of these objectives is necessary in order to ensure that the EU makes an appropriate contribution to the goals stated in the Paris Agreement. 

‘I am glad that Lithuania’s vision for the future of energy is in line with the long-term strategy formulated by the European Commission: to achieve that energy becomes climate-neutral by the middle of our century’, said the Minister of Energy.

As one of the main measures to achieve this in the long term, Žygimantas Vaičiūnas has emphasised the EC strategic objective to incentivise consumers that produce electricity independently for their own needs. The Minister has noted that the consumer will play the central role in the future energy system, and Lithuania considers this to be the main factor in securing a fair reform of the energy system. 

Other indispensable changes include the need to create advanced technologies with low greenhouse gas emissions. The greatest potential would be achieved by joining together various technologies and methods of the power system control. These ambitious objectives require both private and public sector investments, therefore, Lithuania is calling for the planning of the EU-level financing facilities for a smooth transition to the low-carbon economy.  

The Minister has also noted that implementation of a bilateral agreement between Lithuania and Luxembourg on cooperation in the area of renewable energy sources, under which Lithuania transfers the surplus of its RES statistics to Luxembourg, has already been started. Such agreements – with Lithuania and Luxembourg being the first success story - can become one of the tools in the attainment of the EU objectives in this area. 

The Council also discussed a review of the EU Gas Directive aimed at establishing provisions on the application of the EU law also to the gas pipelines that connect the EU with third countries, among them also Nord Stream 2 pipeline.

The Minister congratulated Romania, which took over the Presidency of the Council of the European Union, on its leadership in achieving, after long and intensive discussions, an agreement on amendments to the Gas Directive.
It has been noted that Lithuania’s position regarding Nord Stream 2 is not changing – it is Russia‘s geopolitical project. The amendments to the Gas Directive will enable the attainment of the objectives of both the EU energy policy and the Energy Union.
‘We will have a concrete and real instrument that will help protect interests of the EU Member States. Later, upon adoption of the amendments, it will be most important for the European Commission, which will assume a special role and huge responsibility, to ensure proper implementation of the Directive’, says the Minister of Energy.

The regulation on uniform marking of vehicle tyres was adopted at the meeting of the Council. The purpose of the regulation is to enable consumers to obtain more accurate comparable information about the impact of the type of tyres used on fuel consumption, safety and noise levels. A uniform and transparent marking will contribute to ensuring cleaner, safer and quieter transport.

The Council also considered the regulation on the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) that sets out its objectives, budget, forms of funding, and rules for 2021 – 2027. This is relevant to Lithuania as it seeks to secure maximum EU financing for the project on the synchronisation of the Baltic States with continental European networks. 

At the meeting of the TTE Council, Žygimantas Vaičiūnas met with Ralfs Nemiro, the Minister of the Economy of the Republic of Latvia. The Ministers of the neighbouring countries discussed the Baltic States’ synchronisation project and creation of the common regional market in natural gas.