Wednesday

26th Jun 2019

Commission shrugs off jab on EU energy 'slogan'

  • 'Let's not qualify member states by their initial ambition and declaration,' said Miguel Arias Canete (Photo: Council of the European Union)

EU climate commissioner Miguel Arias Canete has shrugged off recent dismissal of the commission's "energy efficiency first" policy.

"Let's not qualify member states by their initial ambition and declaration. Let's see the final product," he said at a press conference in Brussels on Monday (5 March).

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.

... or join as a group

The commission is currently negotiating the final version of an energy efficiency bill which it first proposed in November 2016.

The "energy efficiency first" principle is at the heart of commission text, but a "majority" of EU states see the three little words "more as a slogan" than anything substantial, according to a recent working paper in the EU Council, where national governments meet.

The leaked paper, which EUobserver reported about, also said that member states, not EU institutions, should remain in charge of deciding whether they prioritise energy savings.

The bill needs the approval from both council and parliament before it becomes law.

"We will test the level of ambition of the different member states," Canete on Monday, referring to the ongoing, so-called trilogue talks.

"When we finish the trilogue, I will say if there is ambition or no ambition on the side of the council. I will be an honest broker between the 35 percent of the parliament and the position of the council," Canete said.

The commission initially proposed to reduce energy use by 30 percent in 2030, which the council supports, but the parliament said that figure should be 35 percent.

The talks are being led by Bulgaria, because it holds the rotating six-month council presidency.

Its environment minister, Neno Dimov, did not clearly say if he agreed with the leaked paper's statement that "energy efficiency first" was just a "slogan".

Instead, he said Bulgaria was "working very seriously" on energy use reduction.

"For the last two years and several months, we have invested over 2 billion Bulgarian leva for energy efficiency of households," said Dimov.

"I don't think this is an amount which is negligible for our country, just the opposite."

Analysis

EU purchase of US gas serves dual purpose

The EU wants to diversify the sources where it gets its natural gas from - while importing more liquefied natural gas (LNG) from the US could also slightly appease Donald Trump.

Investigation

EU's claim Energy Union now 'a reality' not based on facts

The Juncker commission this week awarded it self top marks on the Energy Union, declaring it "completed". But a detailed analysis reveals the commission quietly stopped reporting on key indicators that would have shown the actual level of progress.

News in Brief

  1. EU warns Turkey as 'Gezi Park' trials begin
  2. EU universities to share students, curricula
  3. Migrant rescue ship loses Human Rights Court appeal
  4. Denmark completes social democrat sweep of Nordics
  5. Johnson offers 'do or die' pledge on Brexit
  6. Weber indirectly attacks Macron in newspaper op-ed
  7. EU to sign free trade deal with Vietnam
  8. EU funding of air traffic control 'largely unnecessary'

Planned German coal exit boosts case for Nord Stream 2

German commission recommends phasing out coal power over the next 19 years - which will provide additional arguments to build the controversial Nord Stream 2 pipeline from Russia, which both the European Commission and the US have reservations about.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. International Partnership for Human RightsEU-Uzbekistan Human Rights Dialogue: EU to raise key fundamental rights issues
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersNo evidence that social media are harmful to young people
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersCanada to host the joint Nordic cultural initiative 2021
  4. Vote for the EU Sutainable Energy AwardsCast your vote for your favourite EUSEW Award finalist. You choose the winner of 2019 Citizen’s Award.
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersEducation gets refugees into work
  6. Counter BalanceSign the petition to help reform the EU’s Bank
  7. UNICEFChild rights organisations encourage candidates for EU elections to become Child Rights Champions
  8. UNESDAUNESDA Outlines 2019-2024 Aspirations: Sustainability, Responsibility, Competitiveness
  9. Counter BalanceRecord citizens’ input to EU bank’s consultation calls on EIB to abandon fossil fuels
  10. International Partnership for Human RightsAnnual EU-Turkmenistan Human Rights Dialogue takes place in Ashgabat
  11. Nordic Council of MinistersNew campaign: spot, capture and share Traces of North
  12. Nordic Council of MinistersLeading Nordic candidates go head-to-head in EU election debate

Latest News

  1. EU moves to end car-testing 'confidentiality clause'
  2. EU parliament gives extra time for leaders on top jobs
  3. Europe's rights watchdog lifts Russia sanctions
  4. EU-Vietnam trade deal a bad day for workers' rights
  5. EU 'special envoy' going to US plan for Palestine
  6. Polish judicial reforms broke EU law, court says
  7. EU study: no evidence of 'East vs West' food discrimination
  8. Russia tried to stir up Irish troubles, US think tank says

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us