On 18 November the European Commission launched its first-ever State of the Energy Union report. This provides political guidance on what to expect in 2016, when the Commission intends to overhaul fundamental aspects of EU energy policy. The report is not supposed to be re-writing the Energy Union strategy or the Commission’s work programme for next year. So what does it do? What added value does it bring? What political guidance does it offer? (also, indirectly, with regard to controversial projects such as Nord Stream) How do its political messages further flesh out the Energy Union? What legislative proposals can we expect when next year?
Most importantly of all, what further indications does the State of the Energy Union provide for a new energy governance system? What do the country factsheets tell us? How effective does the proposed guidance on national energy and climate action plans look to be? Is it any clearer how the 27% EU-wide renewables target for 2030 will be enforced? How useful are the proposed indicators for measuring progress? What do they tell us about where Europe stands today? The Commission plans to “anchor” governance in legislation by drawing up a single legislative proposal setting out monitoring and reporting obligations related to the Energy Union and climate and energy goals for 2030. This would replace all existing reporting obligations and leave new sectoral proposals free to focus on policy tools. Will this plan do the job?
Vice-President of the European Commission in charge of Energy Union
Maroš Šefčovič is a Slovak career diplomat and since 1 November 2014 Vice President of the European Commission in charge of the Energy Union. In this capacity, he leads the “Energy Union” Project Team within the Commission which comprises of 14 commissioners. In 2014 he was elected as the Member of the European Parliament. From 2010 to 2014 he was Vice President of the European Commission in charge of Inter-Institutional Relations and Administration. In 2009-2010, he was European Commissioner for Education, Training, Culture and Youth. From 2004 – 2009, he was the Permanent Representative of the Slovak Republic to the European Union. He graduated from the University of Economy in Bratislava and the Moscow State Institute for Foreign Relations. He holds a degree as Doctor of Law and a PhD of European Law from the Comenius University, Faculty of Law, Bratislava. He also studied at Stanford University, USA.
Jerzy Buzek MEP
EPP Group, Chair of the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE)
Jerzy Buzek has been a member of the European Parliament since 13 June 2004 and was President of the European Parliament from July 2009 to January 2012. He was elected with the biggest majority of any EP President since the first direct elections in 1979. He is the first EP President from one of the EU’s 2004 enlargement Member States. During his mandate, he presided over the transition from the Nice to the Lisbon Treaty, playing a key-role in the finalisation of the ratification process. He has also been very active on the energy front, launching together with Jacques Delors the initiative of a European Energy Community aimed at strengthening legal certainty and energy cooperation within and outside the EU. From 1997 to 2001, Jerzy Buzek was Prime Minister of Poland, introducing sweeping reforms in pensions, healthcare, local and regional administration, education and the mining sectors. During his government Poland acceded to NATO and made key-steps towards EU membership.
Vice-President Statoil EU Affairs office
Anders Marvik is currently vice-president and head of Statoil EU affairs. He has worked in the oil and gas industry for 20 years, and has gained broad industry understanding and knowledge. He has held several international management roles, and gained deep experience in energy politics, strategy, business intelligence, industry analysis, business development, treasury, technical understanding and full value chain knowledge and experience.
Moderated by leading environment journalist Sonja van Renssen