Commentary

European Council conclusions on Energy Union: comment from E3G

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European Council conclusions on Energy Union: comment from E3G

Commenting on the European Council conclusions on EU Energy Union agreed this evening (19/3/2015), E3G Associate Director Jonathan Gaventa said:

"The Commission didn’'t need a ringing endorsement of its Energy Union proposals from the European Council at this stage. All it required was a gentle nod from the heads of state and a quiet signal to get back to work. Tonight they received a green light to proceed."

"This is progress. The European Commission had set out a positive vision for an Energy Union that delivers both energy and climate security, but remained light on the detail. There will be plenty of fights to come – on market design, on governance and on infrastructure choices – but these will wait until there are more detailed proposals on the table."

"Nevertheless, the cracks are already beginning to show. President Tusk initially tried to focus the discussion more narrowly on high carbon ‘indigenous resources’ (i.e. coal) and fossil fuel imports. In contrast, most member states and the Commission supported a broad view of the Energy Union, in which efficiency, low carbon technologies and a functioning Internal Energy Market are key tools for EU energy security and competitiveness. The final text was a messy compromise, but it will be sufficient to let the low carbon Energy Union agenda move forward."

For further comment and background, contact Jonathan Gaventa jonathan.gaventa@e3g.org

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