EU Leaders to Seek Energy-Price Analysis at Summit in Brussels

European Union leaders this month will probably call on the bloc’s regulator to study how energy prices are affecting Europe’s competitiveness and what response is needed.

Prime ministers and presidents from the 27-nation EU may ask the European Commission to present an analysis of the “composition and drivers” of energy costs and prices by the end of 2014, according to draft guidelines for the conclusions of a May 22 summit in Brussels. Leaders may request a study of “possible action to help alleviate effects” on European industry, according to the document.

Leaders are set to discuss issues such as diversification of energy supplies, including progress in the deployment of renewable-energy technologies and exploitation of unconventional sources of energy. Talks are due to raise the issue of internal energy market legislation, which the bloc aims to complete by 2014, and “urgent” enactment of market liberalization rules for natural gas and electricity, according to the document.

EU nations may call on the commission to propose rules “in due time” on climate and energy after 2020, according to the document. The bloc’s regulatory arm in March began debate on a framework for renewables, energy efficiency and greenhouse-gas reduction targets for 2030 and aims to present draft legislation toward the end of this year.

Tax fraud and tax evasion concerns also are on the leaders’ agenda, with an eye toward revisiting the topic in December, the document showed. Discussion areas include negotiations with non-EU countries, automatic international information exchange and updates to the EU’s savings tax accord.

France and Italy want the EU to commit to considering its own list of non-cooperative jurisdictions on tax issues, according to a second planning document. This document, prepared for finance ministers to consider next week ahead of the May leaders’ summit, said it’s not clear whether the prospect of a list will win endorsement from other nations.

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