European Commission’s Working Programme: What’s in it for Energy?

European Commission’s Working Programme: What’s in it for Energy?

The European Commission launched, amid a great public fanfare, one month ago, its’ key policy initiatives for 2015, promising much change. It is a working plan built around the almost obsessive trilogy of keywords at the EU level: jobs - growth - investments. One can understand from this document that Juncker’s team has two main objectives: a €315-billion investment plan for Europe and a set of better, rather than more, regulations. In the past five years, the Commission has proposed an average of 130 new initiatives in each annual Work Programme, whereas this latest one in the series comes armed with only 23 - two of them concerning energy and climate. The first of these two initiatives is a “strategic framework” for an Energy Union that will focus on “energy supply security, integration of national energy markets, reduction in European energy demand, decarbonising the energy-mix and promoting research and innovation in the energy field”, although it is yet to be decided if it will be non-legislative or legislative. Furthermore, it will include “revision of the EU Emissions Trading System, as part of the legislative framework post-2020”, and consider implementation of the market stability reserve, which is currently being discussed by Member States and MEPs. The European Commission’s Vice-President for the Energy Union, Mr. Maroš Šefčovič, set out a five-pillar structure for it last year, in October, which is likely to remain a ‘foundation stone’, but ‘the devil is in the details’, which is evident with the new energy governance system: a hot issue already. This may determine where regional levels get reinforced, and can influence, - it goes without [...]

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