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Multiannual framework programme for actions in the energy sector and concerted measures, 1998-2002

This multiannual programme provides a framework setting out setting out the broad objectives, financial elements, coordination measures and the duration of Community activities in the energy sector. Its purpose is to maximise the coherence and effectiveness of Community activities in the energy sector by gathering various policies and programmes implemented by the European Commission's Directorate-General for Energy (DG XVII) under a single umbrella.

The first energy framework programme covers the period 1998-2002. Six specific programmes are to be implemented during this period covering both horizontal and thematic domains. Programmes that have already been established - SAVE, ALTENER, SYNERGY - will now be conducted within the new multiannual framework programme.

The approach is based on linking horizontal and thematic actions or programmes under a transparent and integrated framework.

Horizontal programmes:

- Prospective analysis and market monitoring;
- International energy cooperation (SYNERGY).

Thematic programmes:

- Promotion of renewable energy resources and implementation of a Community strategy and action plan until 2010 (ALTENER 2);
- Promotion of energy saving and energy efficiency (SAVE 2);
- Promotion of clean and efficient solid fuels technologies (CARNOT);
- Nuclear sector cooperation on safety, industrial cooperation with NIS, transport of radioactive materials, including measures to combat illegal trafficking.

In addition to ensuring a greater degree of coordination between measures conducted within these six programmes, steps are to be taken to coordinate energy-related activities implemented within other Community frameworks and policies, notably:

- Relevant activities implemented under the research and technological development (RTD) Framework Programmes;

- Trans-European energy networks.

Attention is also to be paid to improved coordination between all other Community activities which contain an energy component, particularly in the area of international cooperation (PHARE, TACIS, MEDA), the Structural Funds and investment support.

The energy framework programme should not be confused with the Community's RTD Framework Programmes.
To guarantee the security of energy supplies; to ensure competitiveness; and to promote the compatibility of the development of the energy market with environmental protection objectives.
Six specific programmes:

Horizontal programmes:

- Development, in cooperation with the Member States, of a programme for regular monitoring of the evaluation of the energy markets and trends, so that political decisions relating to energy can be taken on the basis of a joint analysis;

- Reinforcement, within the area of competence of the framework programme, of international cooperation in the energy field in order to encourage, firstly, greater diversification of energy sources and, secondly, greater transparency and stability of the international gas and oil markets in particular (SYNERGY);

Thematic programmes:

- Promotion of new and renewable energy sources and implementation of a Community strategy and action plan for renewable energy sources to the year 2010 (ALTENER 2);

- Encouragement of rational and efficient use of energy resources (SAVE 2);

- Regeneration of the coal sector, notably through the use of environmentally compatible technologies (CARNOT);

- Safer use of nuclear energy through nuclear sector cooperation on safety, industrial cooperation with NIS, transport of radioactive materials, including measures to combat illegal trafficking.
The energy framework programme is implemented by six specific programmes that are established by individual legislative decisions (see the "Subdivisions" section of this record).

The Commission is responsible for implementing the framework programme and for drafting the guidelines applicable to the actions and measures to be taken under each of the specific programmes. The Commission is assisted by a consultative committee, composed of representatives of the member States. This committee will play an important role in promoting coordination both between the six specific programmes and with other Community activities in the energy sector, notably through greater cooperation with other relevant Community bodies and committees (e.g. the Consultative Committee on energy, RTD programme management bodies, and the Guidelines Committee for the trans-European energy networks).

The Commission is required to assess the state of implementation of the framework programme on an annual basis, evaluating the overall effectiveness of the programme and its contribution to the objectives of Community policy. It is also required to assess whether the objectives, priorities and financial resources are appropriate to changing circumstances with a view, if necessary, to submitting proposals to adapt the framework programme and/or the specific programmes.