On 9 April, the fourth report of the Energy Union was published by the European Commission showcasing the progress that has been made over the last five years since the start of the Juncker Commission, and setting new ambitious energy and climate policies for the future. CEEP particularly supported the Commission on its path to create a resilient Energy Union that also takes the deeply intertwined economic, social and climate European policies in its scope. The report rightly re-assesses the prospects of bringing more attention to the consumer activities within the energy market. With the recent approval by the European Parliament of the last files of the Clean Energy Package from 2016, the Commission wants to commit to becoming a world leader in deploying renewable energy and setting energy efficiency strategies to effectively combat climate change in the long run.

However, there is still a long way to go to bring a European answer to the current and rising energy challenges. CEEP welcomes this fourth ‘Energy Union report’ and its overall efforts for a well-rounded energy and climate policy strategy in its European framework. Europe has indeed been progressing over the last 5 years towards a modern and climate friendly European Energy market, but there is still a lot to be accomplished in the energy transition to guarantee affordable, secure and sustainable energy for all Europeans. Realizing this vision will require concrete steps to reach the new targets of 32% renewable share by 2030 anchored in the Renewable Energy Directive. It is still unclear how this target can be achieved as it is binding at EU level without concrete national plans.

The State of the Energy Union rightly emphasizes that the national energy and climate plans are a very important tool to increase the reliability of the European climate and energy policies. CEEP appreciates the Energy Union’s efforts for a coherent approach towards its renewable and energy efficiency targets whilst avoiding to limit Member States in the choice for their way towards decarbonisation.  At the same time, we need to encourage smaller investment projects in the field of energy as well as in the transport and heating and cooling sector. Such projects should also include cross-sectoral projects to ensure skills in the labour market can be smoothly transformed and facilitate a sustainable innovation in the public sectors. It also remains just as important to avoid future plans in this report being too bureaucratic and taking away the necessary freedom of Member States to choose their individual decarbonisation path. The national energy and climate plans must not be a tool to impose certain technologies to Member States.

Additionally, five more documents have been published along with the fourth report on the progress of the national energy efficiency targets and the renewable energy implementations in Europe as well as the strategic action plan on batteries and a communication paper for more efficient and democratic decision-making in EU energy and climate policy.

For further information, please contact our policy officer Henriette Gleau (henriette.gleau@ceep.eu).

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