Towards a governance for the Energy Union


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Clean energy for all - Energy Union - Governance - Energy security - Internal energy market - Energy efficiency - Decarbonisation
In the context of the “Clean energy for all Europeans”-package, issued by the European Commission in 2016, a proposal of regulation is currently laying on the table on the “Governance of the Energy Union”. On 20 June 2018 a political agreement on the governance of the Energy Union was reached today between negotiators from the Commission, the European Parliament and the Council.

The Energy Union covers 5 key dimensions: energy security; the internal energy market; energy efficiency; decarbonisation; and research, innovation and competitiveness. The main goal of the Energy Union is to give Union consumers, both households and businesses, secure, sustainable, competitive and affordable energy.

The Energy Union Governance regulation has as objective to enable the achievement of the objectives of the Energy Union and in particular the targets of the 2030 Framework for Climate and Energy. The new governance system is seen as a means to enable the European Union to realise its goals of becoming world leader on renewables, putting energy efficiency first, provide a fair deal for consumers and set the course for the EU's strategy long-term greenhouse gas reduction.

Considering that a resilient Energy Union with an ambitious climate policy and a fundamental transformation of the energy system can only be achieved through a combination of coordinated action – legislative and non-legislative – at EU and national level, this proposal wishes to achieve that the Energy Union has a strong Governance ensuring that policies and measures at various levels are coherent, complementary and sufficiently ambitious.

The proposal recognises that Member States need flexibility to choose policies that are best-matched to their national energy mix and preferences, but this flexibility should be compatible with further market integration, increased competition, the attainment of climate and energy objectives and the gradual shift towards a low-carbon economy.

In line with the Commission's strong commitment to better regulation, the proposal intends to reduce administrative burden for the Member States, the Commission and other EU Institutions, in particular in respect of planning and reporting requirements (for both the Commission and Member States). The proposal brings together the existing scattered planning and reporting obligations from the main pieces of EU legislation across energy, climate and other Energy Union related policy areas with a view to simplify and align requirements albeit removing existing duplications.

The proposal contains for example a harmonised framework related to the integrated national energy and climate plan Member States will be required to notify to the European Commission by 1/1/2019 and every ten years after (with rules on the content, the period to be covered, main objectives to be set forth in respect of the 5 key dimensions of the Energy Union, method to calculate Member States contribution to setting the process in these area’s, public consultation, cooperation obligation at regional level…).

Furthermore the proposal addresses the reporting to the European Commission of the long-term low emission strategies and the national progress reports on the implementation of the policies related to the 5 key dimensions are harmonised.

To facilitate reporting an online reporting platform shall be established by the European Commission.

The proposal also sets forth a framework for monitoring the progress made at Union level and by Member States towards meeting the objectives of the Energy Union, with possibility for the European Commission to issue recommendations to Member States.

More info: Régine Feltkamp & Gerrit Hendrikx