Reports on US plans to attack Iran and the Bush administration even considering nuclear weapons to do so drive oil prices to an all-time high and put a question mark behind the EU's negotiating agenda.
On a visit to New Delhi, EU energy Commissioner Andris Piebalgs stressed the similar challenges faced by major consuming nations, vowing to propose an international agreement on energy efficiency over the coming months.
The 23-24 March EU Summit is set to endorse the European and national Lisbon reform programmes and lay the foundations for more cooperation on energy policy, but a populist spirit of "economic patriotism" might thwart good intentions.
The EU expressed relief after an agreement was reached on the supply of gas to the Ukraine, but the challenge of the EU's reliance on energy resources from unstable or politically tense regions remains on the table.
With IEA director Claude Mandil warning of a looming world energy crisis, EU Energy Commissioner Piebalgs will on Tuesday 6 September present new measures to deal with high oil prices and possible supply problems.
The Parliament has voted to triple funds allocated to gas and electricity transmission projects to cater for an expanding European energy market after enlargement. Neighbouring countries including Russia and Turkey are also part of the plans.
Having turned the Commission's draft directive on security of gas supply in the EU upside down to safeguard national responsibilities in this area, Parliament will now vote on changing the legal basis of the proposal.
A report by the Swiss energy ministry on the blackouts in Italy calls for a thorough application of the new EU rules on cross-border power trading and for a closer co-operation between the EU and Switzerland.