Commission Adopts Strategy for European Energy Union

The European Commission has today adopted its European Energy Union Package. It includes three communications, covering a “Framework Strategy for a Resilient Energy Union with a Forward-Looking Climate Change Policy, and Interconnection Communication, and a communication setting out a vision for a global climate agreement in Paris in December.

Fortunately, and as always, the Commission’s information package is available in English – so no need for us to come up with a translation from a German text. And the communications also come with a “citizen’s summary” (and with additional “executive summaries” in the actual communications).

As background, Commission communications are policy documents that do not have legal authority. Communications are published documents of the Commission setting out its thinking on a specific issue.

In (mainly) the words of the Commission, the three Energy Union Package Communications cover:

1. Energy Union

The Energy Union Communication sets out, in five interrelated policy dimensions on about 20 pages (17 pages plus 3 pages on “The Energy Union in fifteen action points”), the goals of an energy union. It also contains steps the Juncker Commission intends to take to achieve it, including new legislation to redesign and overhaul the electricity market, ensuring more transparency in gas contracts, substantially developing regional cooperation as an important step towards an integrated market, with a stronger regulated framework, new legislation to ensure the supply for electricity and gas, increased EU funding for energy efficiency or a new renewables energy package, focusing European R&I energy strategy, reporting annually on the ‘State of the Energy Union’, just to name a few.

2. Interconnection Communication

The Interconnection Communication on 15 pages sets out the measures considered to be needed by the Commission to achieve the target of 10% electricity interconnection by 2020, which is the minimum necessary for the electricity to flow and be traded between Member States. It shows which Member States currently meet the target – and which projects are necessary to close the gap by 2020.

The Communication actually contains a table showing the interconnection percentage for 2014. Here are some examples showing the enormous range:

  • 0% in Cyprus and Malta
  • 2% Poland
  • 3% Spain
  • 6% UK
  • 10% Germany and France
  • 11% Greece
  • 17% Belgium
  • 29% Austria and Hungary
  • 44% Denmark
  • 245% Luxemburg

3. Paris Protocol Communication

The Paris Protocol Communication on 15 pages sets out the Commission’s vision for a global climate agreement in Paris in December. The vision is for a transparent, dynamic and legally binding global agreement with fair and ambitious commitments from all parties. The Communication also translates the decisions taken at the European Summit in October 2014 into the EU’s proposed emissions reduction target (the so-called Intended Nationally Determined Contribution, or INDC) for the new agreement.

Source: European Commission

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