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Who would keep control over the national energy policy in the Energy Union Governance?


12 May 2017



Brussels, 12/05/2017

Who would keep control over the national energy policy in the Energy Union Governance?

This question was raised yesterday during the working lunch on the Energy Union Governance: “How to find „Win-Win” outcome for Member States and the EU?”, which was held by Ryszard Czarnecki, Vice-President of the European Parliament in cooperation with the Polish Electricity Association (PKEE).

European Parliament is actually deeply involved in the decision-making process on the so-called “Clean Energy Package”. The effective implementation of the discussed proposals will be the key to find the balance between the EU and national energy policies.

The EC’s answer is to establish a complex Energy Union Governance framework, which will be based on the composition, implementation and on-going review of the Integrated National Energy and Climate Plans (INECPs). These plans will reflect all five Energy Union dimensions – practically covering the entire scope of national energy policies.

EU governance legislative proposal assumes that each INECP is to be established in wide consultation procedure involving other Member States. The most controversial issues are connected with the proposed scope of the Commission’s competences, through recommendations on the integrated plans and the implementation reports, as well as  the introduction of financing platform.

Recommendations are formally of non-binding nature. However, the proposal foresees the need for Member States to reflect the recommendations in the INECPs content and establish a specified timetable for their implementation. Moreover, the EC would be empowered to impose sanctions in the form of a contribution to the financing platform, in case a Member State does not meet the 2020 national renewables binding target.

As it was indicated by Ryszard Czarnecki: “Member States are responsible for energy security, the Governance of the Energy Union should preserve this sensitive right of Member States to decide on their energy mix and to determine their energy and climate policy. The competences should stay where the responsibility is.

This statement was supported and developed by Marta Gajęcka, Vice-President of the Polish Electricity Association. Marta Gajęcka said that the idea of strategic and integrated planning was generally supported as it is crucial to achieve EU targets. However, the further decision-making process should reflect three key-recommendations:

1)      to keep the non-binding character of the EC’s recommendations;

2)      narrow down the consultation process only to the neighbouring MS;

3)      keep the RES 2030 target actually at EU-level as decided by the European Council in 2014, which should be ensured by removing the financing platform provisions.

Paula Pinho, Head of Unit in charge of Energy Union Governance in DG ENER underlined the role of the Governance regulation in delivering the Energy Union: "The Governance proposal provides the first ever opportunity at EU level for mid- and long term plans integrating all areas of energy and climate. This will enable the EU to meet its commonly agreed targets on renewables, energy efficiency and reduction of GHG emissions and will provide investor certainty."

Claude Turmes, Member of the European Parliament, rapporteur for the Governance Regulation  in the ITRE Committee stated the need to introduce binding RES targets on national level as it could be the only effective way to fulfil the obligations.

The above-mentioned issues are only the peak of the iceberg, which should be addressed by the European Parliament in the forthcoming months.





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