Halfway through the European Council, Thursday evening March 23, the leaders of the Twenty-Five had held their main objective: to avoid divisions. They drafted, for the first time, a common energy policy - admittedly timid - while avoiding controversy over economic patriotism, criticized in particular against France and Spain.
The member countries have agreed on the main lines of a common energy policy, which would consist in particular of speaking with one voice on the international scene and strengthening their internal market. They agreed to meet every year to assess the progress made. But they have "not yet reached conclusions on specific objectives" in the energy field, even if the European Commission "received a mandate" to propose them, admitted its president, José Manuel Barroso.
“In ten years, when you look back, you will realize that this very substantial debate has led to a new energy policy” in the EU, said Austrian Chancellor Wolfgang Schüssel, President-in-Office of the Union. He promised that "there is no question of establishing a new super bureaucracy in charge of energy", while Mr Barroso assured that member states would not have to transfer new powers to the Commission.