The House of Lords EU Energy and Environment Sub-Committee is conducting an inquiry into EU Energy Governance. The Sub-Committee seeks evidence from anyone with an interest.
EU energy governance relates to how the EU institutions and Member States interact, both formally and informally, in order to realise the energy policy objectives of the EU on the one hand and fulfil national aims on the other.
The October 2014 European Council set out a number of principles underpinning climate and energy governance. This should be “a reliable and transparent” system “without any unnecessary administrative burden […] to help ensure that the EU meets its energy policy goals, with the necessary flexibility for Member States and fully respecting their freedom to determine their energy mix.”
The 8 June 2015 Energy Council subsequently invited the European Commission to “rapidly present initiatives on the governance system of the Energy Union […], including guidelines on regional cooperation”. These should “be developed swiftly […] and reported to the European Council in December 2015 as a first step to develop the governance system.”
At the heart of this debate, we see potential tensions between EU and national objectives. Our aim is to bring these tensions to wider attention than has been the case thus far and to scrutinise the progress of work. On the basis of our evidence, we hope to make a constructive contribution to the debate that will take place at the December European Council and beyond. We will make policy recommendations to the Commission and Member States, including the UK, accordingly.
The Sub-Committee will approach the issue of governance through the lens of two case studies, which illustrate the tensions: capacity mechanisms and renewable energy targets. These will allow the Committee to explore the topic in the context of national energy security on the one hand and national energy mix on the other.
We seek evidence on any aspect of the topic of EU energy governance, and particularly on the following questions:
1.Capacity mechanisms are being introduced by some Member States in order to assure national security of supply.
2.The October 2014 European Council agreed that the EU should cut its greenhouse gas emissions by at least 40% by 2030 compared to 1990 and that this should be delivered through a range of measures including renewable energy: “An EU target of at least 27% is set for the share of renewable energy consumed in the EU in 2030. This target will be binding at EU level.” This contrasts to the 20% renewable target by 2020 which has binding national targets for each Member State.
3.What are the implications of a strengthened EU approach to energy governance? What are the implications of not making swift progress towards a new–and clear–governance system?
4.If National Energy and Climate Plans were to be the basis for a strengthened governance, who should be responsible for assessment, review and enforcement? How can transparency of that process be assured?
5.What role should regional co-operation play in any new governance system? How can regional co-operation help to overcome the potential tensions between national and EU policy objectives?
6.Should a new governance framework be enshrined in legislation?
You need not address all these questions in your response.