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Draft Energy Council conclusions on EU #EnergyUnion governance

Update 8 November: the EU Council Presidency invites the Permanent Representatives Committee ‘to confirm the agreement on these conclusions [dated 6 November; AS] with a view to their adoption by the TTE (Energy) Council on 26 November 2015.’

Highlights at first glance:

  • Footnote 2, page 9 recalls the the EU objective for 2050: ‘RECALLS the EU objective, in the context of necessary reductions according to the IPCC by developed countries as a group, to reduce emissions by 80-95% compared to 1990.’
  • The first National Plans will be finalised by the end of 2019. A biennial review cycle will start with the first Progress Report of Member States.’ [in 2021; AS]
  • I still think this is not very logical: on the one hand there will be an ‘inter-institutional annual dialogue on the State of the Energy Union reports’ while on the other hand there will be ‘biennial Progress Reports’ on the National [Energy & Climate] Plans [italics mine; AS]. How to write a complete State of the Energy Union report in the years when there are no national progress reports available?

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Update 22 October: some corrections to the third draft conclusions have been sent (dated 21 October 2015). The preamble is now even clearer than before on what the EU Treaty means for countries’ freedom to decide their energy mix: this is only ‘without prejudice to Article 192(2)(c).’

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Update 20 October: the third revision of the draft conclusions, dated 19 October 2015, is now available.

Highlights at first glance:

  • The preamble now also refers to ‘relevant Articles of the TEU, among which Article 14 defining the joint legislative function of the European Parliament and the Council, and Article 17 defining the right of initiative of the Commission‘.
  • A crucial element is added to the preamble on the relevant Articles of the TFEU:  ‘in particular Article 194, which, without prejudice to Articles 191 and 192, sets out the objectives of energy policy’. As mentioned several times in this blog (see below), this is very important. I’m very happy to see this key phrase is now part of the text!
  • the first National Plans will be drawn up by [2018] (was 2020; AS). A biennial review cycle will start with the first Progress Report of Member States in [2021].’ (was 2022; AS)
  • Homework by the EU Commission should be done ‘in close cooperation with the Member States’.

Full text available here.

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Update 2 October: the Treaty references have been ‘erroneously deleted’ from the draft conclusions of the 26 November Energy Council. The General Secretariat of the Council sent a corrigendum.

Still missing from Treaty refs though: the legal condition for Member States’ right to determine their energy mix: ‘Without prejudice to the application of other provisions of the Treaties‘.

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Update 1 October: the second revision of the draft conclusions, dated 30 September 2015, is now available.

Highlights at first glance:

  • The preamble on ‘the relevant Articles of the TFEU, in particular Article 194, which sets out the objectives of energy policy’ is now deleted entirely!
  • Most changes in section 2
  • ‘Peer review’ between neighbouring Member States
  • ‘The first Plans will be drawn up in [2020] (was 2018; AS). A biennial review cycle will start with the first Progress Report of Member States in [2022].’ (was 2020; AS)

In my opinion, making an annual State of the Energy Union report but only biennial review cycles doesn’t make sense.

Full text available here.

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Update: the second draft conclusions, dated 24 September 2015, are now available. As Member States have indicated changes to the first draft, it is getting more complex already. Highlights at first glance:

  • Emphasis on all 5 dimensions of the European Energy Union
  • Differentiation between binding, EU-binding and non-binding 2030 climate and energy targets
  • Crucial phrase of EU Treaty is missing, removing the legal condition for Member States’ right to determine their energy mix: ‘Without prejudice to the application of other provisions of the Treaties
  • Still no clear role for EU Parliament – who is co-legislator!
  • Governance still only voluntary, and thus not enforceable

The changes only go up to section 1.6. The other sections (2 onward) will be revised in the next week(s), following Monday 28 September’s energy working party.

Full text available here.

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On 26 November, EU Energy Ministers will discuss the European Energy Union. To prepare their meeting, several rounds of drafting the conclusions are taking place. The first draft conclusions were circulated to the Member States’ delegations today (1 September 2015). The draft is on the governance system of the Energy Union.

28 EU leaders agreed, at the European Council in October 2014, on a new EU climate and energy framework until 2030. They committed to a binding EU climate target of at least 40% of domestic greenhouse gas reduction (compared to 1990), an EU-wide target for at least 27% share of renewable energy and an EU-wide energy efficiency target of at least 27%. To ensure that the EU meets these targets, the 28 leaders ‘agreed that a reliable and transparent governance system […] will be developed.’ (For full conclusions see here.)

Structure

Today’s document, the first draft of the 26 November Energy Council conclusions, is 7 pages long. After ‘recalling’ previous conclusions, it ‘recognises’ six key characteristics of the Energy Union governance system; it ‘identifies’ two key components of the governance system and specifies them; it ‘calls on’ the EU Commission for a swift follow-up.

Highlights

My first assessment: I’m quite positive. Here is why:

‘The crucial importance of a strong governance of the Energy Union building on clearly defined, long-term policy planning and monitoring process in order to implement the Energy Union strategy with a forward-looking climate policy which, as one of the five overarching priorities set by the European Council in its conclusions of 26 and 27 June 2014, is at the forefront of the Union’s strategic agenda.’ (p.3)

‘The system will be constructed on the basis of existing building blocks in energy and climate policy and legislation up to 2020, including planning and reporting obligations.’ (p.3)

‘Identifies as essential components of the governance system:

  • National Energy and Climate Plans (hereinafter ‘Plans’), followed by Progress Reports on the implementation of Plans, both based on standardised templates;
  • aspirational and iterative Dialogue and Monitoring based inter alia on key performance indicators‘ (p.4)

‘The Plans will set out the Member State’s policy planning and targets, and objectives on climate and energy, including with regard to EU climate and energy policy goals and agreed targets for 2030, and including a perspective up to 2050.’ (p.5)

‘The first Plans will be drawn up in [2018]. A biennial review cycle will start with the first Progress Report of Member States in [2020], followed by a dialogue with the Commission on implementation and – if necessary – adjustment of the Plan. Each review will take stock of the results achieved.’ (p.6) (The brackets [ ] mean this is to be discussed. AS)

‘The governance system will be designed with the involvement of the European Parliament, national parliamentary representation, civil society representation and other relevant stakeholders’ (p.6)

‘The governance cycle will also serve as an ‘early warning system‘ by enabling the early identification of possible risks and shortfalls as regards all EU energy policy objectives and agreed climate and energy targets. As a result, timely corrective action can be undertaken and policies and measures can be adjusted.’ (p.6)

‘Calls on the [EU] Commission to ensure a swift follow-up to these conclusions and […] to work closely with the Member States, European institutions as well as with other relevant stakeholders in order to deliver on the objectives set out above.’ (p.7)

Document

You can find the document here. If you want to use the document for a blog, paper, article, or if you want to share it on social media and this blog is the first place you saw it, then please use its original source, that is: this blog. Many thanks!

PS: See here for background & advice on governance.

climateenergy efficiencyEU Energy Uniongovernancerenewables

@StollmeyerEU • 1st September 2015


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