Sunday, 18 January 2009

Energy priorities: European Commission

The gas crisis exposed the vulnerability of the European Union to outside disturbances and lack of interconnection in the energy area.

What is the EC Commission doing to tackle the problems?


The Commission’s Legislative and Work Programme 2009, Acting now for a better Europe (Brussels, 5.11.2008 COM(2008) 712 final), deals with Climate Change and Sustainable Europe as the second priority area, after Growth and Jobs.

Climate change is ambitions are presented first, but the programme then continues with more specific energy issues. The objectives are crammed into the following paragraph:

The other key target of the package is to make European energy secure, sustainable and competitive. The hike in energy prices seen in 2008 has again underlined the vulnerability of Europe in terms of energy, and the pressing need to promote energy security. The Commission's Strategic Energy Review will set out an overall strategy for improving energy security, which should be a major focus for 2009. This will include driving ahead with concrete steps on energy efficiency; realising a common objective of interconnection and effective stock management, particularly so that the newer Member States are linked up to the European grid; and a coordinated approach on improving and diversifying supply from outside the Union. It also underlines the importance of securing adoption of proposals on the internal market for gas and electricity, with new arrangements in place to ensure increased competitiveness and appropriate prices, and that national regulators can work together.

Acting now for a better Europe is available here:


EU Strategic Energy Review

The ‘beef’ of the Legislative and Work Programme 2009 was refer the interested reader to the Commission’s (Second) Strategic Energy Review.

Commission web page Second Strategic Energy Review – Securing our Energy Future is available here:

The press release Securing your energy future: Commission presents energy security, solidarity and efficiency proposals (IP/08/1696 Brussels, 13 November 2008) offers an overview of the energy package:

An unofficial version of the coming official proposal is the Communication Second Startegic Energy Review, An EU energy security and solidarity action plan, available here:

The 21 page Communication presents a more comprehensive picture of the proposals.
The draft Communication is accompanied by two Commission Staff Working Papers, SEC(2008) 2794 and SEC(2008) 2795, with further detail.

Ralf Grahn

P.S. The Work Programme of the Czech EU Council Presidency, quoted in the previous blog post, is available at: