Today, Commissioner for Energy Kadri Simson, hosted a high-level conference in Brussels on the future of the Energy Union. The conference was convened as a timely opportunity to take stock of the lessons learned from the energy crisis and, in light of these lessons, to facilitate a discussion on the way forward for EU energy policy, particularly with regard to energy security and the clean energy transition. Participants in the conference included representatives from the EU countries, sectoral organisations and other stakeholders, and academia.
Successive speakers reflected on the EU’s response to the energy crisis, emphasising the crucial role played by the Energy Union in the successful implementation of the REPowerEU plan. Citing close regional cooperation and mutual solidarity as Europe’s best strength, Commissioner Simson recalled how cooperation on measures such as diversifying energy supplies, reducing overall demand, increasingly turning towards renewables and reinforcing preparedness for next winter have allowed Europe to withstand the crisis conditions experienced over the past year.
Looking forward, Commissioner Simson said in her speech:
We need to define how this unprecedented crisis will shape the EU’s long-term vision for an Energy Union that is: Resilient - and sets us on the path towards European energy sovereignty and solidarity; Clean and sustainable - to achieve our climate neutrality objective; and competitive - to ensure affordable energy prices to all European businesses and households.
Reference was also made to the ongoing work by EU countries on the revision of their integrated National Energy and Climate Plans (NECPs) for the period 2021-2030, the first drafts of which are to be submitted no later than June 2023. Several participants underlined the important role of these plans in defining a future for the EU’s energy sector which is both decarbonised and more secure.
Subsequent sessions included a discussion of the role of strategic planning (including NECPs) in further strengthening EU energy security and ensuring affordability. This was followed by a series of three roundtables focusing on various aspects of the clean energy transition and building more resilience in the EU energy system.
Concluding the conference, DG Energy Director-General Ditte Juul Jørgensen underscored the need for strategic foresight and a shared vision when planning Europe’s common pathway towards a more secure, clean, and competitive energy future, involving all levels and stakeholders. She said:
The NECPs about to be updated should play a crucial role, and two further key take aways from today are “implementation, implementation, implementation”; and “skills, skills, skills”.
- Publication date
- 20 April 2023
- Directorate-General for Energy