Energy Union

Energy UnionWill the EU wait for a wholesale energy crisis before a binding process to decarbonise its energy supplies?

Energy Union emerged in 2014 as a new EU vehicle to shape policy-making for the sector. Already, however, there are tensions. Some Member States want to use Energy Union to burn greater quantities of fossil fuel, while more progressive countries see Energy Union as a framework to decarbonise.

The EU must soon decide on Energy Union governance: a non-binding inter-governmental process – or binding commitments enforced by Commission and capable of litigation by third parties?

Right now – late 2015 and 2016 – EU energy policy is being transferred into Energy Union from the European Semester governance process. In place since 2011, the European Semester focuses primarily on ensuring macro-economic stability.

A weakness of the Semester is that it has binding and non-binding aspects (largely depending on the macro-economic conditions of the Member State). It’s a governance mistake that should not be repeated in designing Energy Union.

The EU must get Energy Union governance right from the beginning – and not wait for an energy crisis before developing enforceable rules.

Greening budgets through EU Energy Union and the European Semester

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