Donald Tusk’s drive to create an Energy Union has taken a body blow in this leak of the Energy Council conclusions. Paragraph 7a stresses the need for “…the Commission and the Member States to examine the potential for measures to strengthen the bargaining power of the EU and its Member States vis-à-vis external suppliers.” This falls considerable short of Tusk’s proposals but there is still a long way to go until the June Energy Council and October European Council where this will be threshed out.

The Energy Council, scheduled for 12 June, will also consider the controversial issue of energy prices and their alleged implications on international competitiveness. Interestingly, Paragraph 7 highlights a key contradiction of trying to protect industry for supposed high energy cost differentials but also recognising that these have been a key driver for the EU’s industrial competitiveness, innovation, economic growth and jobs.

Surprisingly, there is no explicit mention of climate change and its impact on the energy system such as increased water stress, extreme-weather related impacts and the benefits of low-carbon investments. This goes to show how out of touch Energy Council discussions are with the day to day reality of the real issues facing Europe.