The energy union strategy (COM/2015/080), published on 25 February 2015, as a key priority of the Juncker Commission (2014-2019), aims at building an energy union that gives EU consumers - households and businesses - secure, sustainable, competitive and affordable energy.
Since its launch in 2015, the European Commission has published several packages of measures and regular progress reports, which monitor the implementation of this key priority, to ensure that the energy union strategy is achieved.
State of the energy union reports
These reports are accompanied by a wide range of reports and annexes.
The sixth state of the energy union report, published on 26 October 2021, was accompanied by an annex on energy subsidies in the EU, as well as detailed progress reports on the competitiveness of clean energy technologies, on fuel quality, on the functioning of the carbon market, and a climate action progress report
- Fifth state of the energy union report (October 2020)
- Fourth state of the energy union (April 2019)
- Third state of the energy union report (November, 2017)
- Second state of the energy union report (February, 2017)
- First state of the energy union report (November 2015)
Five dimensions of the energy union
The energy union builds five closely related and mutually reinforcing dimensions:
- Security, solidarity and trust - diversifying Europe's sources of energy and ensuring energy security through solidarity and cooperation between EU countries
- A fully integrated internal energy market- enabling the free flow of energy through the EU through adequate infrastructure and without technical or regulatory barriers
- Energy efficiency - improved energy efficiency will reduce dependence on energy imports, lower emissions, and drive jobs and growth
- Climate action, decarbonising the economy - the EU is committed to a quick ratification of the Paris Agreement and to retaining its leadership in the area of renewable energy
- Research, innovation and competitiveness - supporting breakthroughs in low-carbon and clean energy technologies by prioritising research and innovation to drive the energy transition and improve competitiveness.
Regulation on the governance of the energy union and climate action
The Regulation on the governance of the energy union and climate action (EU)2018/1999 entered into force on 24 December 2018 as part of the Clean energy for all Europeans package.
The regulation emphasises the importance of meeting the EU's 2030 energy and climate targets and sets out how EU countries and the Commission should work together, and how individual countries should cooperate, to achieve the energy union's goals. It takes into account the fact that different countries can contribute to the energy union in different ways.
The goals of the regulation are
- to implement strategies and measures which ensure that the objectives of the energy union, in particular the EU’s 2030 energy and climate targets, and the long-term EU greenhouse gas emissions commitments are consistent with the Paris agreement
- to stimulate cooperation between Member States in order to achieve the objectives and targets of the energy union
- to promote long-term certainty and predictability for investors across the EU and foster jobs, growth and social cohesion
- to reduce administrative burdens, in line with the principle of better regulation. This was done by integrating and streamlining most of the current energy and climate planning and reporting requirements of EU countries, as well as the Commission's monitoring obligations
- to ensure consistent reporting by the EU and its Member States under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Paris agreement, replacing the existing monitoring and reporting system from 2021 onwards
The governance mechanism is based on integrated national energy and climate plans (NECPs) covering ten-year periods starting from 2021 to 2030, EU and national long-term strategies, as well as integrated reporting, monitoring and data publication.
The transparency of the governance mechanism is ensured by consulting wide public on the NECPs.
Post-Brexit relations on energy falls under the EU-UK Trade Cooperation Agreement and the Euratom-UK Agreement.
- Energy union factsheets for EU countries (based on the third report of the state of the energy union, 2017) short summaries
- A framework strategy for a resilient energy union with a forward-looking climate change policy (COM/2015/080 final)
- State of the Energy Union 2021: Renewables overtake fossil fuels as the EU's main power source (news published 26/10/2021)
- State of the energy union: progress made on the clean energy transition and a basis for green recovery (news published 14/10/2020)
- Energy union and climate action: driving Europe's transition to a low-carbon economy (news published 20/07/2016)