Wednesday

20th Jun 2018

EU envisages soft touch Energy Union

  • The paper does not say what the commission will do if national plans fall short of the EU-wide ambition. (Photo: European Commission)

The European Commission is appearing to go for a soft touch approach in getting member states to achieve the energy and climate goals laid out in its Energy Union strategy.

According to an internal document, seen by this website, the commission is floating monitoring and reporting instruments, but no strict top-down measures to police the proposed new rules.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 18 year's of archives. 30 days free trial.

... our join as a group

The document is a discussion paper written for a meeting of high commission officials next Wednesday (15 July). It lists “the kind of instruments that could support a future governance system”.

When the commission announced its Energy Union plans in February, it said its strategy needs “an integrated governance and monitoring process, to make sure that energy-related actions at European, regional, national and local level all contribute to the Energy Union's objectives”.

Those objectives included increasing energy security, increasing efficient use of energy, completing the single energy market, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

According to the paper, Energy Union governance “should start with building and sharing knowledge of energy policy and its development across all member states”.

This will be done via a “transparent monitoring system”, which includes as its two “core elements”:

- “single integrated national plans for the post-2020 period”

- “biennial reports on the implementation of national plans”

“National plans would be the key instruments for member states to set out their energy and climate policy approaches for the period up to 2030 in an integrated way”, the paper noted.

“The commission would aggregate these national plans and compare with the EU-level target".

However, the paper does not say what the commission will do if those plans fall short of the EU-wide ambition.

Those plans, the paper said, need to include “projections for the energy system and greenhouse gas emissions based on existing policies, notably a reference projection that does not include the effects of the planned policies described, and a policy projection with the planned measures”.

The commission stated that a new “Reference Scenario”, prepared by the commission, will be an “important input” for those projections.

“Without aiming to replace national projections developed by member states, it can be a useful reference point for member states in defining their own targets and objectives”, the document stated.

The commission does not have exclusive power over most energy issues, which means it needs the co-operation of national governments, and may explain the careful language.

Green lobby group Climate Action Network Europe (CAN Europe) has already criticised the discussion paper, which it said “ is completely lacking teeth”.

“Planning and reporting alone will not ensure that the EU meets and exceeds its 2030 energy and climate goals. With this proposal governments will not be held accountable for failing to invest in renewables and energy efficiency”, said CAN Europe campaigner Jean-Francois Fauconnier in an e-mailed statement.

The paper did not discuss the commission's contentious wish to be more closely involved when countries sign gas contracts, for which a proposal is due to be published after the summer break.

EU commissioner to begin 'Energy Union' tour

EU energy commissioner Maros Sefcovic will start visiting EU countries this week to share initial findings of a commission analysis of each country's energy and climate policy.

Brussels wants stronger role in gas deals

The European Commission wants to be more closely involved when its member states negotiate energy contracts, under plans for an energy union unveiled Wednesday.

Stakeholder

Nordic electricity market presented to global energy ministers

Energy ministers from the world's biggest economies, including the G20, were shown how co-operation works in the Nordic electricity market. This co-operation is unique by international standards and is held up as a model globally.

News in Brief

  1. PES to announce 'spitzenkandidat' names in October
  2. Macedonian parliament ratifies name deal
  3. EU to hit US with import duties from Friday
  4. Commission: New on-road CO2 test would take years
  5. Juncker orders migration 'mini-summit' on Sunday
  6. Luxembourg gave illegal state aid to energy firm
  7. Negotiators lower finger printing age of refugees to six
  8. EU to lift its internal data storage barriers

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Mission of China to the EUJointly Building Belt and Road Initiative Leads to a Better Future for All
  2. Macedonian Human Rights MovementMHRMI Launches Lawsuits Against Individuals and Countries Involved in Changing Macedonia's Name
  3. IPHRCivil society asks PACE to appoint Rapporteur to probe issue of political prisoners in Azerbaijan
  4. ACCASocial Mobility – How Can We Increase Opportunities Through Training and Education?
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersEnergy Solutions for a Greener Tomorrow
  6. UNICEFWhat Kind of Europe Do Children Want? Unicef & Eurochild Launch Survey on the Europe Kids Want
  7. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Countries Take a Stand for Climate-Smart Energy Solutions
  8. Mission of China to the EUChina: Work Together for a Better Globalisation
  9. Nordic Council of MinistersNordics Could Be First Carbon-Negative Region in World
  10. European Federation of Allergy and AirwaysLife Is Possible for Patients with Severe Asthma
  11. PKEE - Polish Energy AssociationCommon-Sense Approach Needed for EU Energy Reform
  12. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Region to Lead in Developing and Rolling Out 5G Network

Latest News

  1. How to get around the EU posted workers directive
  2. EU needs comprehensive 'sexuality education'
  3. Fate of EU refugee deal hangs in the balance
  4. Merkel, Macron in pre-summit pledge on migration, eurozone
  5. Hungary to push ahead with 'Stop Soros' law on NGOs
  6. Swedish party puts EU referendums back in fashion
  7. EU summit set to outsource asylum
  8. Dutch request to clarify Brexit Britons' rights annulled

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us