2020 is a key year for several targets in European energy and climate policy, including the requirement for European countries to deploy smart metering for at least 80% of electricity consumers. This target was set to ease the transition towards a consumers-centered and digitalized energy system. In fact, there are numerous applications that are facilitated or are directly linked to smart meters. Among others: demand response programs that enable consumers to be active in the energy market, and remote grid monitoring by the Distribution System Operator. In this paper, we analyze the initial provisions of the Third Energy Package and those of the Clean Energy Package, with particular focus on the recently approved Directive on common rules for the internal market for electricity and the newly introduced smart meters specifications. We present the highlights of the national Cost Benefit Analyses for smart metering roll-out, focusing on the decisions made by the Member States with respect to a potential smart meter roll-out to be completed by 2020 and present the current situation of smart metering roll-out. We also present and categorize some of the R&I smart grid projects realized over the last years, focusing on the ones that deal with smart metering integration in order to depict the smart metering applications and technologies tested on the ground. Therefore, this paper portrays a full picture with respect to smart meters in Europe today, and gives insights for monitoring Smart Metering roll-outs taking into account the current trends in smart metering applications.