(BRUSSELS) – The EU Commission reported progress on the Energy Union Tuesday, particularly its action plan on batteries, and setting out a path to more efficient and democratic decision making in EU energy and climate policy.
European policies implemented over the last five years in all policy areas have put the EU on the right track to fully embrace the clean energy transition, says the Commission, seizing the economic opportunities that it offers, creating growth and jobs and a healthier environment for consumers.
The report takes stock of the successful implementation of a vision of a unified, interconnected, secure and sustainable Energy Union. The report is accompanied by two documents showing progress made in renewable energy and energy efficiency. In parallel the Commission is also putting forward a report on the implementation of the strategic action plan on batteries and a communication for more efficient and democratic decision making in EU energy and climate policy.
“Our report shows how all the Energy Union measures combine to make our policy fit for the future. Today, our framework redirects investments into future oriented technologies and solutions,” says EC vice-president Maros Sefcovic, in charge of the Energy Union. “We have also kick-started measures for industry such as battery manufacturing in Europe, while making sure we’re not leaving any European behind in the transition.”
The EU executive is now urging EU Member States to “rapidly integrate national measures on energy, climate, mobility and all other related areas, so Europe leads the way towards climate neutrality by mid-century.”
The Energy Union has strengthened the internal energy market and increased the EU’s energy security by investing into new smart infrastructure (including, cross-border), providing a new state-of-the-art market design and introducing a cooperation mechanism between the Member States based on solidarity to respond to potential crises in a more effective and efficient manner.
The updated legislative framework for the Energy Union has enabled the EU to maintain its leadership in climate action by increasing its level of ambition for 2030 in a number of energy related sectors, from increased targets for renewable energy and energy efficiency, to targets on emissions from cars, vans and lorries. In addition to the new legislative framework, the Commission has put in place an enabling framework of supporting measures to ensure a smooth transition for European industries, regions and cities. A number of targeted initiatives have been created to guarantee all regions and citizens benefit equally from the energy transition. One of these initiatives is the European battery alliance.
The European battery industry has been identified as a strategic value chain for the EU in the context of a strengthened industrial policy strategy. The Energy Union report is accompanied by a separate report on the implementation of the strategic action plan on batteries.
A second Communication calls for a strengthening of the democratic accountability of the decision-making process under the Euratom treaty. The European Commission will establish a High Level Group of Experts to assess the state of play of the Euratom Treaty with a view to considering how, on the basis of the current Treaty, its democratic accountability could be improved.
In the same communication, the Commission asks the European Parliament and the Council to reflect on how energy taxation could better contribute to the EU’s energy and climate policy objectives, and how a move to qualified majority voting (QMV) decision-making amongst Member States could help to unlock progress in this area.