The Commission has long been seeking to change energy taxation, but some member states have repeatedly thwarted progress and are likely to continue to do so.

Taxation law in the European Union requires the unanimity of all 27 member states, which is almost impossible to achieve.

Luxembourg, for instance, has been generating revenue through particularly low taxes on diesel, meaning vehicles, notably lorries carrying freight, stop in the centrally located nation to refuel.

Ahead of a working party meeting on January 23 that will bring together representatives of member states, an internal European presidency note dated January 9 on minimum rates for energy products revives the idea of taxing fuels according to carbon dioxide emissions and energy content.

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