Blog posts (46)
Showing results 1 to 20
  • A Europe that has your back
    Published by Maroš Šefčovič28 June 2018

    A Europe that has your back

    Earlier this week, I spent three intensive days in the United States, engaged in talks with politicians, businessmen and innovators, high-level academics or other stakeholders. Two observations stand out to me in retrospect – a "me first" atmosphere (probably no surprise there) and a certain duality (for instance, climate action may be absent from political discourse at the federal level, but business and other key actors stay the course).
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  • New Opportunities for Climate Action
    Published by Maroš Šefčovič8 June 2017

    New Opportunities for Climate Action

    By Maroš Šefčovič & Bertrand Piccard - The effort to combat climate change has overcome a great many challenges. From being ignored, underestimated, or outright denied, to the near global consensus it enjoys today. Challenges remain, but the Paris climate agreement was a landmark. Our direction of travel is now clear and unstoppable.
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  • 'Halftime' for the European Commission
    Published by Maroš Šefčovič3 May 2017

    'Halftime' for the European Commission

    Policy-making does not have a 'beginning' and an 'end'. It is a process which accompanies the natural development of society; it attempts to tackle new challenges, learn from past experience and envision a better future. It is therefore done in iterations in which new policies constantly replace or are added to the old ones.
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  • The global leadership against global warming
    Published by Maroš Šefčovič11 April 2017

    The global leadership against global warming

    When you think of Europe, what is the first image that comes to your mind? Some would associate our continent with democracy, human rights, or peace. But it's often more interesting to hear what others think of us.
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  • Thoughts from my visit to the United States
    Published by Maroš Šefčovič10 March 2017

    Thoughts from my visit to the United States

    I just concluded my visit to the US and taken off from Washington DC Dulles airport. I spent four intense days in Houston and DC. For the first time I participated in the Texas version of "Energy Davos" and was deeply inspired by the high quality of business leaders. My many meetings gave me the opportunity to highlight how much EU-US economic relationship has developed and the great impact is on jobs and growth on both sides of the Atlantic. For many of my US interlocutors this was big news.
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  • Thoughts from Davos
    Published by Maroš Šefčovič24 January 2017

    Thoughts from Davos

    It's now been a tradition for leaders to meet once a year in the Swiss alpine town of Davos, to discuss global matters. And yet, this year was different.
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  • The future is clean
    Published by Maroš Šefčovič14 November 2016

    The future is clean

    By Maroš Šefčovič, Vice President of the Europan Commission and Bertrand Piccard, Initiator, Chairman and Pilot of Solar Impulse
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  • Urban Future
    Published by Maroš Šefčovič21 October 2016

    Urban Future

    The world is changing fast; faster than ever before. This is not only about our use of innovative technologies, the 4th industrial revolution, or the Internet. It is also about the way, we humans, have been organising our communities.
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  • The emerging regional 'powers'
    Published by Maroš Šefčovič30 September 2016

    The emerging regional 'powers'

    We often talk about the energy transition in terms of its sources; from traditional fossil fuels to low-carbon and renewables. But another dramatic change is happening before our eyes in Europe's energy landscape. Sometimes it is intuitive and in other cases requires a political push to materialise: We are witnessing the emergence of blocs of countries whose energy infrastructure and legislation is more and more harmonised.
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  • What if Ukraine exported energy?
    Published by Maroš Šefčovič31 August 2016

    What if Ukraine exported energy?

    Last week on Wednesday, Ukraine has celebrated its Independence Day. It was a special 24th of August as it marked the 25th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence of Ukraine back in 1991. I'm very much looking forward to visiting Kyiv this Friday and to meet with our Ukrainian partners. This visit comes at a difficult time for Ukraine: unfortunately there is an armed conflict ongoing in the East of the country.
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  • Innovation: What makes this race worthwhile
    Published by Maroš Šefčovič7 July 2016

    Innovation: What makes this race worthwhile

    Steve Jobs famously stated that innovation "distinguishes between a leader and follower". I would argue that it also applies in the macro level; it is also what distinguishes between markets which lead the global economy, and those which follow behind. Why? Because it embodies a transition from the old economic model to the Fourth Industrial Revolution; and more importantly: from the linear growth rate to an exponential one. Let me explain.
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  • Over 2,500 years of Greek wisdom (and counting)
    Published by Maroš Šefčovič5 April 2016

    Over 2,500 years of Greek wisdom (and counting)

    Often we hear about Greece in the context of some of the tremendous challenges it is facing, such as the financial or the refugee crises. But the Greek spirit, the one which served as the cradle of our Western civilisation, of democratic principles, and even of many of our sportive traditions - is also at the cornerstone of some of the most strategic European projects, including the Energy Union.
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  • Lithuanian (energy) independence
    Published by Maroš Šefčovič8 March 2016

    Lithuanian (energy) independence

    I have always been touched by the story of Lithuania's independence. From the images of two million people holding hands in a human chain, peacefully calling for independence (in what came to be known as the Baltic Way) to the incredible story of Lithuanian basketball players who were first able to represent their own country in the Barcelona 1992 Olympics and… brought home a very symbolic medal.
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  • The Norwegian battery
    Published by Maroš Šefčovič4 March 2016

    The Norwegian battery

    The Energy Union has often been compared to the Coal and Steel Community of the 1950; both highly ambitious projects of merging European energy markets therefore contributing to the European integration project at large. But one major difference between the two is the fact that the Energy Union is not confined to the EU only. In fact, the Energy Union has a very important external dimension, addressing our energy relations with our partners. In this respect, Norway plays a strategic role.
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  • Cyprus: an island in a sea of opportunities
    Published by Maroš Šefčovič20 January 2016

    Cyprus: an island in a sea of opportunities

    It's been two decades that I've been visiting Cyprus, meeting with its people and decision-makers, appreciating its rich culture and multi-layered history, seeing it evolve and change over the years. But the atmosphere of my recent visit was significantly different: there was clear prospect for a final settlement agreement which could reunite the island and open a new range of opportunities. What could this mean to the island's energy sector? Quite a lot.
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  • All roads lead to Rome [or to somewhere in Italy]
    Published by Maroš Šefčovič22 December 2015

    All roads lead to Rome [or to somewhere in Italy]

    This might have been true in ancient times. It's definitely true for today's Energy Union. Diversification of Europe's energy consists of creating new routes both by sea and by land; and investing in innovative technologies and renewables. But there's one 'stop' almost all these 'roads' have in common: Italy.
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  • e-Stonia
    Published by Maroš Šefčovič17 December 2015

    e-Stonia

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  • Smart Kingdom
    Published by Maroš Šefčovič26 November 2015

    Smart Kingdom

    When smart technologies are put in place to provide citizens with smart services (often using smart financing) we talk about the emergence of 'smart cities'. But what makes a 'smart country'? For me, this title is deserved when a country has successfully implemented its own smart energy transition, and then paves the way for other countries to follow. Welcome to Denmark.
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  • Island is a state of mind
    Published by Maroš Šefčovič24 November 2015

    Island is a state of mind

    Imagine a country which can transmit over a third of its electricity across its 'borders'; a country which is about to become an important European gas hub, and which is playing a major diplomatic role in negotiating Europe's energy partnership with North Africa. You probably didn't imagine Malta.
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  • Belgian Specialities
    Published by Maroš Šefčovič16 November 2015

    Belgian Specialities

    For us non-Belgians living in Belgium, the Belgian political system is a mysterious wonder: a tri-lingual multi-level federation of regions and communities. But in fact, the system of cooperation among communities continues beyond Belgium's borders – across the entire region. It was only logical and symbolic that I discussed the opportunities of the Energy Union to Belgium at the Benelux house, and close to three of its borders, accompanied by a Belgian and Luxembourger ministers.
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