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The European Union launches work on the Energy Union. While Europe is nicknamed “Old continent”, it is ultimately the only one to have taken such a great interest in the development of a European energy and climate policy. The Union faces significant challenges, then the project is definitely ambitious but urgent.
The Commission today launched work on the Energy Union; a fundamental step towards the completion of single energy market and reforming how Europe produces, transports and consumes energy. The Energy Union with a Forward-looking Climate Change Policy is one of the key political priorities of the Juncker Commission. After more than 60 years from the founding of the Coal and Steel Community, the Commission today drew a plan for reorganising European energy policies and kicked off work for European Energy Union.
The Energy Union is timely. The European Union imports 55% of its energy. 90% of the housing stock in Europe is energy inefficient, our energy infrastructure is ageing and the internal energy market is far from complete.
The momentum for the Energy Union is here. The energy security is high on the political agenda, and a door for an ambitious climate agreement in Paris at the end of 2015 was opened in the European Council last October. The recently adopted Investment Plan for Europe is designed to unlock the financial means the energy sector really needs. The currently low oil prices are also giving an extra incentive and give more political and financial room to do what is necessary to achieve a more competitive, secure and sustainable European energy policy.
The Energy Union framework strategy is scheduled for adoption on 25 February. This strategic policy document will be accompanied by the “Road to Paris” Communication spelling out the EU’s intended climate contribution as well as a Communication reporting on EU’s progress towards the minimum electricity interconnection target of 10%.
Background: The orientation debate today discussed the aims of the Energy Union, and at the top were the diversifying of energy sources currently available to the Member States, helping EU countries become less dependent on energy imports and making the EU the world number one in renewable energy and leading the fight against global warming.
Next steps: High-level seminar on Energy Union organised by the Latvian Presidency and the Commission, held in Riga 6.2.2015. Live-stream from the conference: https://eu2015.lv/events/political-meetings/the-energy-union-conference-of-the-eu-energy-ministers-2015-02-06