One of the main priorities for Jean-Claude Juncker when he became President of the European Commission in 2014 was to establish an energy union, which ensures the clean, secure and affordable supply of energy to all Europeans.
In the course of its 5-year mandate, the Juncker Commission initiated a range of changes to EU energy policy to build this energy union and address the challenge of global warming.
Having helped to negotiate the Paris Agreement in December 2015, many of the subsequent policy changes have been aimed at enabling the EU to deliver on its Paris Agreement commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and more broadly on accelerating the clean energy transition. In particular, the Clean energy for all Europeans package establishes a new rulebook for EU energy policy, which includes new, binding 2030 targets for energy efficiency and renewables and requires each EU country to establish its own integrated national energy & climate plan for 2021-2030, outlining how it intends to fulfil its contributions to the EU-wide effort.
Special EB 492
The Special Eurobarometer 492, on Europeans’ attitudes on EU energy policy, was carried out in the 28 EU Member States between 9 and 25 May 2019 seeking to gauge, for the first time, EU citizens’ opinions about aspects of EU energy policy in order to:
- review what citizens think EU energy policy is about currently and what it should aim to achieve
- assess awareness of and effectiveness of current energy efficiency labelling
- investigate what citizens believe the EU’s priorities for energy policy should be in the next decade
The full report and the individual reports per EU Member State were published on 11 September 2019.
The main points of the survey report were the following:
- EU energy policy is about moving away from fossil fuels, decreasing consumption and lowering energy prices
- Strong agreement that EU should focus on ensuring access to secure, clean, affordable energy
- Respondents say cooperation is essential to ensure a secure energy supply
- Access to clean energy requires EU investment in research and technology
- The EU needs to act to ensure access to affordable energy
- EU energy labelling is well-known among respondents and influences purchasing decisions
- The EU should prioritise clean and more affordable energy in the future
- EB 492 infographic, September 2019